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Kom Ombo Temple - Nile Cruise Tours
in the town of Kom-Ombo, about 28 miles north of Aswan, the
Temple, dating to the Ptolemies, is built on a high dune
overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by
Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC.
Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The
outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by
Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone. There
are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of
The Temple known as Kom Ombo is actually two temples
consisting of a Temple to Sobek and a Temple of Haroeris. In
ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the
river bank near here. The Temple has scant remains, due
first to the changing Nile, then the Copts who once used it
as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for
Everything is duplicated along the main axis. There are two
entrances, two courts, two colonades, two hypostyle halls
and two sanctuaries. There were probably even two sets of
priests. The left, or northern side is dedicated to Haroeris
(sometimes called Harer, Horus the Elder) who was the falcon
headed sky god and the right to Sobek (the corcodile headed
god). The two gods are accompanied by their families. They
include Haroeris' wife named Tesentnefert, meaning the good
sister and his son, Panebtawy. Sobeck likewise is
accompanied by his consort, Hathor and son, Khonsu.
are all that are left of the original Pylon. Beyond the
Pylon, there was once a staircase in the court that lead to
a roof terrace. The court has a columned portico and central
altar. There is a scene of the King leaving his palace
escorted by standards. Near the sanctuary is a purification
scene. On either side of the door to the pronaos are columns
inscribed with icons of the lotus (south) and papyrus
(north), symbolizing the 'two lands' of Egypt.
In the southwest corner of the pronaos is the one column
that does not echo the duality of the temples. Here, there
are scenes depicting purification of the King, his
coronation and his consecration of the Temple. The ceiling
has astronomical images.
The hypostyle hall has papyrus capitals on the columns.
Here, there is an inventory of the scared places of Egypt,
the gods of the main towns and the local and national
In the anti chamber, there are scenes depicting the goddess
Seshat launching the building of the temple, followed by a
scene of the completed temple with the king throwing natron
in a purification ceremony. The staircase leading to the
roof is all that remains of the offering hall.
Statues to the gods and the builders of the temple once
occupied the net room just before the sanctuaries. The
ceiling of the pure place to the north still remains with an
image of Nut. There is little left of the sanctuaries.