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Reviewed 6 April 2018

Most people who take a Nile cruise to see the temples of ancient Egypt will only see those between Luxor and Aswan. However, about 1.5 hours north of Luxor is the beautiful temple of Hathor at Dendera. The drive along the Nile road to get there through the rural villages and farming area is very pleasant and a chance to see another aspect of Egypt that is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Cairo. The temple itself is in remarkable condition with the vivid colors and adornments mostly intact save for some defacing that occurred over the millennia that this temple as stood. Being off the beaten trail allows visitors to take their time to wander through the various rooms of the temple and even climb the hidden stairs to the roof (if open). If you are planning a Nile cruise, add this stop to your itinerary, you will not be disappointed.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Todd B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

After our visit to Seti's Temple in Abydos and lunch on our spacious vehicle, we set off for Dendera to visit the Temple of Hathor. Dendera is some 80 kilometres from Luxor, but probably not in the same direction as Abydos. It took us a while to get there.
Dendera is considered an old holy place, even by Egyptian standards. There is evidence of religious structures built at the site even during the Old Kingdom. The main Hathor Temple in Dendera, however, is relatively more recent in time and dates back to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.
Hathor was a major goddess of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, representing the principles of joy, feminine love and motherhood and her cult centre was Dendera. She is represented in various forms, including that of a cow. The Greeks associated Hathor with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
The Temple of Hathor is considered one of the best preserved in Egypt and it stands with its great stone roof, massive columns, dark chambers, underground crypts and narrow, winding stairways. The work on the walls, pillars, and particularly the ceilings, is exquisite
The Egyptians see the temple as evidence of the scientific excellence of the ancient Egyptians. Our guide mentioned that the Dendera Zodiac, with images of Taurus and Libra once adorned the ceiling of the chapel. It was taken away by the French and is now in the Louvre, Paris. Our guide also tried to convince us that another depiction was actually an electric light bulb, implying thereby that the ancient Egyptians even had electricity. Much as we are mystified by and marvel at the skill and knowledge of the ancient Egyptians in building pyramids and other colossal structures, this appeared a bit of a stretch.
The structure of the Temple is well preserved, but it has not escaped vandalism and pillage. As in other temples, images within reach have been defaced with chisels. The temple also appears to have been torched as much of it is covered with soot. This may have been a blessing in disguise. Restoration now in progress is revealing the exquisite beauty and unbelievable vibrant, vivid colours of the original work. It is difficult to describe it in words; I shall see if some pictures can help.
The Temple of Hathor was the last monument we visited during this trip to Egypt and in many ways it was among the highlights of our visit. We spent a lot of time there, almost upto the closing time of 5 pm and went up and down its narrow twisting stairways. Some were difficult to negotiate.
We undertook a day long trip covering Abydos and Dendera. This could be the way to do it. And one must carry one's food and drink. Our guide dissuaded us from having even tea or coffee in the roadside places saying that it was not safe.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Ayub Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

No crowds, serene and very impressive, and less than 2 hrs away from Luxor.
We visited because it was on our way to Hurghada, it was a quick visit but so glad we did. Got to see Cleopatra's relief on the back wall, the underground crypts, and just oh so beautiful ceiling. Highly recommend, one of the highlights of the whole Egypt trip.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank srutul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018

I have wanted to visit this beautiful temple for a long time, I was not disappointed. The colours are still vibrant in parts of the temple and the hieroglyphs very clear. It is the first temple I have been able to climb to the roof and admire the stunning views and see the extent of the temple.
This temple should be a must for everyone

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Peta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2018

I have been here now three times and the impact of the temple of Dendera is as impressive as those found in Luxor. Preservation is excellent except for the typical early Christian defacements seen in so many temples. Colors are spectacular. There is active restoration of the ceilings from grime and soot which has shown great visual improvement in just the last 4 months. Spend more than 2 hours here if you can with a knowledgeable guide, hopefully an Egyptologist. We were fortunate to have Bob Brier. The carvings were exquisite and obviously performed by an artist. Visit. Take your time. If you miss this, come back to Egypt again.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank johnbarbaram2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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