There was worship of Horus in Edfu throughout the Dynastic Period, but the Temple of Horus that we see today is from the Ptolemaic Era. It was started by Ptolemaios III in 237 BCE, and finished 200 years later in 57 BCE.
The entrance to the temple is through a massive, 36 m (118 ft) high pylon. The pylons show the God Horus, his wife, the Goddess Hathor, and the Pharaoh, grabbing his enemies by the hair, ready to smash their heads, a typical propaganda pose of the Pharaoh. The entrance is flanked by two huge, exquisite granite Horus falcons. It leads into the Great Court. The walls here are lined with reliefs, one of them showing the "Feast of the Beautiful Meeting". Annually Horus of Edfu and Hathor of Dendara were brought together during a big celebration.
One of the most memorable carvings is the depiction of the battle between Horus and Seth, showing Seth in the form of a hippopotamus.
The temple complex is surrounded by a mud brick wall, to protect it from the annual floods. This wall needed to be rebuilt every year, since the mud bricks were not very long lasting.
The massive pylons at the entrance to the temple. The bridge over the entrance is preserved in this temple. (782k) The left pylon at the entrance to the temple. On the right you see the Pharaoh in his victory pose, on the left is the God Horus, with his wife, the Goddess Hathor behind him. (670k) The bridge between the pylons, decorated with the Sun Disk of the God Horus, a very fine, painted example. (776k) One of the huge granite Horus Falcons guarding the entrance, wearing the Pshent, or Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. (846k) Close-up of the head of the falcon statue with the Pshent. (810k) Close-up of the God Horus on the entrance pylon. (751k) Close-up of the Goddess Hathor on the entrance pylon. (783k) Close-up of the Pharaoh, smashing his enemies on the front pylon. (691k) Inner sanctum of the Temple of Horus where the golden statue of the God Horus was kept. (784k) The sacred barge on which the golden statue was carried to reunite Horus with his wife Hathor during the annual festival. (680k) Relief of the sacred barge of Horus. (752k) High Priest, attending to the sacred barge. The High Priests were wearing a head dress similar to the Khepresh or Blue Crown. They can be recognized by the leopard skin that they wear, with the leopards head on the front. (822k) Close-up of the High Priest with the leopard skin. (584k) Close-up of one of the nicely carved reliefs. It shows the vulture Goddess Nekhbet. (778k) Another instance of reliefs showing food offerings. (880k) Columns in the Outer Hypostyle Hall. (730k) Carvings on columns in the Outer Hypostyle Hall. (671k) Capitals of come columns in the Great Court. (1050k) Carving details on the capitals of come columns in the Great Court with the Horus Sun Disk. (848k) Relief of Hathor (center right), with Horus, her husband (center left) and a Pharaoh (left). (525k) The God Horus in his fight with the God Seth (shown as a small hippo). An unknown God is on the left. (599k) Close-up of the unknown God on the sacred barge with Horus. (662k) God Horus in his fight with Seth, with his mother Isis in the front of the barge. (619k) God Horus with the vanquished God Seth. Horus' mother Isis is on the right, and the Goddess Sekhmet is on the upper left. (696k) Queen Cleopatra (center) watching Horus in his fight. (598k) Beautiful carving in the narrow "Passage of Victory" at the back of the temple. (1112k) Beautifully carved and painted figure on one of the columns in the Hypostyle Hall. (584k) Food offerings in a different style of carvings. (698k) Food offerings. (583k) Food offerings. (583k) Back of the massive pylon, seen from the Great Court. (691k) The sun over one of the huge entrance pylons. (686k) Detail of one of the huge entrance pylons. (787k) Huge entrance pylon with the large granite Horus Falcon statues guarding the entrance. (723k) Part of the entrance pylon with the mud brick outer wall around the temple complex. (792k) Other temple complex buildings. (795k) More buildings with the pylon in the background. (740k) A Sphinx statue, the only one left from the Sphinx Avenue. (790k)