Egypt Travel Guide – The Temple of Komombo

The Temple of Komombo stands on the east bank of the Nile, right next to the river, about 4Km from the town. It was dedicated to two Gods, Horus and Sobek

The Temple was mainly dedicated to the God Sobek, the crocodile God, together with his wife, in another form of the Goddess Hathor. The Temple is of Greco-Roman structure, dating back to the year 119 BC, when Ptolemy VI, who started the construction, built it out of limestone. Neos Dionysus finished most of the building, while the Emperor Augustus added the final touches. The left side of the Temple was dedicated to the God Horus the elder, God of victory; Horus was known as the good doctor here! The Temple became famous for its healing power, becoming a major pilgrimage site. A healing cult was developed and the Temple became a sanctuary for many patients who were seeking help, and treatment, by the priests; they would fast for a night in the Temple precinct.

You can enter the Temple from the eastern side, where there is an ancient gate built by Ptolemy XII (Neos Dionysus), who was the father of Cleopatra VII (yes, the famous one!). To your right, after crossing the gate, you will find a small room that was built and dedicated to the Goddess Hathor. Nowadays it is used to display mummified crocodiles, which were found in the vicinity of the Temple. The first pylon of the Temple is now destroyed and only stones from the foundation, and part of the wall remain. The court here was the construction of Tiberius.

As you enter from the main forecourt, you will find that entrance is divided into two gateways, each one leads to the half of the Temple dedicated to one of the two deities
The rear wall leads to the second hypostyle hall, which in turn leads to twin entrances. It has 15 columns, five of them incorporated in the front wall. This section shows Ptolemy VII holding hymnal texts before the Nile Gods. After that you will find three entrance vestibules, each one being smaller, and higher, than the last! The outer vestibule shows the Goddess Sheshat measuring the layout of the Temple, and the King laying the foundation. The middle chamber was dedicated to the offering and admittance was only allowed to the priests. To your right you will find long lists of calendars, telling about the various festivals dedicated to various Gods in the Temple
The inner vestibule has two doors leading to the 2 separate sanctuaries of Horus and Sobek.

On the inner side, of the back wall of the Temple, is a very remarkable scene! It shows the first illustration of medical and surgery tools, which are being presented to a seated God. Here you will find depictions of: scalpels, suction caps, bone saws, and dental tools; 2000 year old depictions! In the northwest side of the Temple, there is a huge well with a staircase, which was connected with the worship of the crocodile and was also used as a Nilo-meter. You still can see water there!

Please Note: The entrance ticket for the Temple of Kom Ombo is 20 LE, and there are no camera charges. The best time to visit the Temple is either early in the morning, or after 5 o’clock.

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