Offer Valid for Limited Time for Some cruises and subject to Availability & Rules
Hatshepsut Temple - Nile Cruise Tours
Hatshepsut Temple is the best-preserved of the three
complexes. Called by the people Djeser-djeseru, "sacred of
sacreds", Hatshepsut's terraced and rock-cut temple is one
of the most impressive monuments of the west bank.
Situated directly against the rock face of Deir el-Bahri's
great rock bay, the temple not only echoed the lines of the
surrounding cliffs in its design, but it seems a natural
extension of the rock faces.
The temple was little more than a ruin when first excavated
in 1891, but it has led to a great deal of successful
reconstruction. The temple took 15 years to build and was
modified throughout that time. The approach to the temple
was along a 121-foot wide, causeway, sphinx-lined, that led
from the valley to the pylons. These pylons have now
It consisted of three broad courts separated by colonnades,
probably imitating the earlier funerary complex of
Mentuhotep to its south. These terraces were linked by
ascending ramps, and bounded by dressed limestone walls.
Hatshepsut recorded that she built the temple as "a garden
for my father Amun," and the first court once held exotic
trees and shrubs brought from Punt.
Its portico was decorated on its northern side with scenes
of the marshes of Lower Egypt, and on the south side, with
scenes depicting the quarrying and transportation of the
great obelisks in Upper Egypt. The portico on the second
court was carved on its southern side with relief scenes of
the exploits of her soldiers on the famous trading mission
to Punt, and on the north side of this portico are depicted
the birth scenes showing Hatshepsut's divine conception as
daughter of Amun himself.
site of Deir el-Bahri was traditionally connected with the
goddess Hathor, chief deity of the Theban necropolis, and
long sacred to the goddess. At the southern end of the
second colonnade is a complete Hathor chapel, originally
with its own entrance. The chapel contains a vestibule with
the characteristic Hathor-headed pillars, a 12-columned
hypostyle hall and inner rooms also decorated with various
scenes of Hatshepsut and Hathor. At the northern end of the
same colonnade is a somewhat smaller chapel of Anubis, again
with a 12-columned hall and inner rooms.
The upper terrace had an entrance portico decorated with
Osiride statues of the female king, that is, statues of
Hatshepsut sculpted to appear as the god Osiris, before each
pillar, though most of these statues have been destroyed.
The portico opened to a columned court flanked on the left
with a chapel dedicated to the royal cult, and on the right
by a chapel of the solar cult, with open court and altar.
Eighteen cult niches, nine on each side, flank the rock
sanctuary of Amun, which was the focus of the entire
complex. During the Amarna period, many of the images of
Amun were destroyed
During the Ptolemaic time the sanctuary was expanded to
include the cults of architects Amenhotep son of Hapu, who
oversaw works for Amenhotep III, and Imhotep, who designed
the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. In the 7th century
ACE, the temple area became the site of a Coptic monastery,
from which the Arabic name Deir el-Bahri is derived.