On the desert border between Luxor and Abydos is the impressive Hathor Temple of Dendera, one of ancient Egypt’s most important cities. The existence of the sanctuary for the goddess of love, music, dance and joy dates back to the Early Ancient Empire of 2000 BC.
Facts relating to the later extension of the temple area ordered by the kings of the 12th Dynasty, have also been preserved. Over the years, the deciphering of numerous hieroglyphs has revealed numerous ancient fertility rites and also a comprehensive impression of Dendera.
The design of the Hathor Temple originates from Late Ptolomaic times. Construction of the temple began in 30 BC, when the country was under Roman rule. The emperors Augustus and Tiberius finally completed the temple in 14 AD.
Architecturally, the monumental sanctuary of Dendera very much resembles other Egyptian temples in Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo. Being the last sovereign of the Ptolomaians, legendary Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, has been immortalized on the southern outer wall of the temple.
The remarkable history of Dendera as an important place of worship can be traced back to a period that extends from antiquity to the golden years of the Roman Empire and to the roots of Christianity.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.