The Temple of Kalabsha-The Largest Free Standing Temple
The Temple of Kalabsha is also known as the Temple of Mandulis. This is an ancient temple is Egypt and it was originally located on the Gate of Kalbsha or Bab al-Kalabsha. It is approximately located at a distance of 50km from the Southern part of Aswan. Even though the temple was originally located there, but now the location has changed. From Talmis, the temple was brought to its current location at Chellal or New Kalbsha in the year 1970. Along with this temple, several other monuments were also shifted. This mainly included the monuments from Nubia, which even included the Kiosk Of Kertassi.
The History of The Temple
The temple was nestled in the western banks of River Nile in Nubia. Historical evidences suggest that the temple was originally built during the early Roman era around 30 BC. The temple was constructed in the reign of Augustus, but it did not finish during their reign. The temple was built as a tribute to Merul or Mandulis, who is a sun God of Lowe Nubia. The structure of the Temple of Kalabsha dates back to the Roman period, but several features like the fine carving of Horus of the temple are extravagant. About seven historical records were inscribed in the temple walls that also included the long inscription from the Roman governor Aurelius Besarion.
Use as a Church
With the advent of Christianity in Egypt, the temple started to be used as church. It was then that the decision of relocating the temple was made. The temple was shifted to its current location with the help of Germany once the building of Aswan High Dam was completed. The dam was built to protect the temple from the rising waters of the Nasser Lake. The entire process of moving the temple to its new location took around two years.
Reflection of Egyptian Architecture
The Temple of Kalabsha was treated as the first and largest free standing temple from Egyptian Nubia that was relocated and erected. It is true that the building was never completed, yet it is one of the best reflections of the marvels of Egyptian architecture. The design of the temple is classical because of the Ptolemic period with pylons. It comprises of a three room sanctuary and a big hall surrounded by the lake. Currently, it is reachable by taxi or boat based on the water level. There is also a small chapel near the temple.