Temple of Kalabsha

One of the largest free-standing temples of Nubia, The Temple Of Kalabsha beside Lake Nasser near the western end of the High Dam, standing isolated on a desolate island features several distinct reliefs such as the fine carvings of Horus, emerges from the reeds on the inner curtain wall of the temple

The Layout Of The Temple



  • The Kalabsha Temple Hall built in Hypostyle with twelve columns united by screen walls have elaborate floral carvings and decorations. The reliefs in the rear chambers display a Ptolemaic Pharaoh making offerings to the land of Isis and Mandolis.


  • The original founder of the temple, Amenhotep II is depicted offering a libation to Min and Mandolis on the walls of the temple. The entrance screen wall on the left of the entrance arch holds an interesting Christian Era painting damned in a fiery furnace that displays handing over a sword by an angel.


  • The Court was surrounded on three sides by colonnades of richly adorned floral capitals. On each side of the court four tiny chambers have been constructed within the wall.



The Entrance Of The Temple


The Entrance Pylon is angled slyly to the main temple. Approached from a terrace, the entrance of The Temple Kalabsha is unusually unadorned and apart from the display of deities in the thickness of the doorway and grooves for the flagstaffs, the entrance pylon can be mounted via the inside stairway.


First Chamber


The second column to the right of the entrance gateway holds Greek inscriptions such as the Meroitic script. The Meroitic script is believed to be the last modification of the cursive hieroglyphics in the native Egyptian language.


The Second Chamber


The second chamber of the Temple shows Roman emperors standing before the Egyptian gods. The stairway from this chamber leads to the topmost point of the girdle wall and to a tiny two-roomed shrine with a crypt (g), which was formed in the thickness of the wall.


Inner chambers


The passage surrounding the inner chambers of the temple is approached from the large court that contains representations of Roman emperors before the deities.


Outer chambers


The outer passage consists of a shrine which was considered to be the Birth House in Nubia. The left-most corner consists of another well-preserved shrine built at a north-eastern angle dating back to the Ptolemaic times.


The Rear Chambers


The chambers on the back side of the temple that includes the third fourth and fifth chambers have excellently preserved reliefs in bright and garnished colours. The base of the walls has a procession of Nile-gods led by the pharaohs. The offerings for Mandolis, Osiris, Isis and other deities have been displayed alongside the left-hand walls of the stairway roof behind the third chamber.


Sanctuary Of The Temple


The sanctuary of the Kalabsha temple decorated with reliefs is well preserved to the present day. Compared to other parts of the temple the sanctuary has an inferior artistic execution. However, the interesting Nubian manifestations in the physiognomies of the Pharaohs and the headdresses and costumes of the deities is worth a mention.


Thereliefs in The Temple Of Kalabsha depict Isis and Horus, the most loved deities with dark faces. To explore more about the Egyptian deities book your tour to the Temple of Kalabsha.

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