The Egyptian temple

Stone building fronted by a tall gateway, a colonnade, and another gateway.

The Temple of Isis at Philae, with pylons and an enclosed court on the left and the inner building at right

Egyptian temples were built to commemorate the pharaohs and to support the central functions of their religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. Rituals, it was believed, invoked the divine presence, sustained the god, and enabled it to continue to uphold the divine order of the universe. Temples were important religious sites for all classes of Egyptians even though most people were forbidden from entering their most sacred areas. They are among the largest and most enduring examples of Egyptian architecture, with their elements arranged and decorated according to complex patterns of religious symbolism. A large temple could own sizable tracts of land and employ thousands of laymen to supply its needs. Some temples, such as Abu Simbel, have become tourist attractions that contribute significantly to the modern Egyptian economyEgyptologists continue to study the surviving temples for their invaluable sources of information about ancient Egyptian society.

The earliest Egyptian temples were built around the middle of the 4th millennium BC in the shape of reed huts. The last construction on an Egyptian temple was at Philae which ceased to be used in the 6th century AD. So not surprisingly, this list of ancient Egyptian Temples covers a huge variety of different structures that evolved over an enormous period of time and an Egypt tour wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one of these temples.

The 10 Most Impressive Ancient Egyptian Temples

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