Edfu Temple is one of the most striking and complete of ancient Egyptian temples and is dedicated to the worship of the god Horus. Situated on the western bank of the Nile, its construction began during the reign of Ptolemy III in 237 BC, but was completed in the reign of Ptolemy XII in 57 BC, 180 years later.
The temple remained buried under layers of settlement debris for millennia, which is why its architectural and decorative elements have survived so well. In 1860 the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette uncovered and restored parts of the temple.
The temple is fronted by two massive pylons that bear scenes of Ptolemy XII conquering his enemies and worshipping deities. Two large granite statues of the falcon-god Horus stand before the pylons. Once through the pylons you enter into a large Peristyle court lined with columns decorated with floral capitals. Beyond this court are two Hypostyle Halls, the first illustrates the temple’s foundation with the king engaged in worship, the second holds scenes of Horus’ journey in a sacred bark accompanied by the goddess Hathor. From the second Hypostyle Hall is the Transverse Hall, then the Sanctuary of the temple.