Hatshepsut Temple – Nile River Cruise
Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple is an amazing mortuary temple set against a mountainous backdrop. On arrival at the site, you are faced with an imposing three stepped structure with a central access ramp. It was quite a walk to the temple, and in the mid-day sun walking up the ramp in the scorching heat was a challange for some.
The architect of the temple was Senemut, Hatshepsut’s lover and a member of her royal court. The temple was designed with rows of colonnades to reflect the vertical patterns displayed by the cliff backdrop. In this way the temple reflects a successful example of architectural harmony between man and nature. The temple is dedicated to Amon and Hathor, Hatshepsut’s claimed parents.
The columns around the upper terrace were decorated with Osiride statues of Hatshepsut, characterized as a male king with a beard. Many of these statues were destroyed by later pharoahs, however several have recently been reconstructed. From the terrace, the view of the complex was magnificent. Imagine what it would have looked like in its hey day.
As we explored the complex, we came across various temples within the temple. In the Chapel of Anubis, we saw brightly colored murials including one of Tuthmosis III making offerings to the sun god Ra-Harakhty.
Queen Hatshepsut ruled for 22 years, which is an amazingly long period by anyone’s standards. Her temple was destroyed by Ramses II and his successors and was later turned into a Christian monastery. We’re indeed fortunate that it has since been reconstructed to what they would have looked during the rein of Tuthmosis III.