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Outer Hypostyle Hall - Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo Temple -
Table of Contents
TEXT Beneath Illustrations
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The Temple of Kom Ombo 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 known as Kom Ombo is actually two temples
consisting of a Temple to Sobek and a Temple of Haroeris.
In ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank near here.
The Temple has scant remains, due first to the changing Nile, then the Copts who
once used it as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for new buildings.
Everything is duplicated along the main axis. There are two entrances, two
courts, two colonades, two hypostyle halls and two sanctuaries. There were
probably even two sets of priests. The left, or northern side is dedicated to Haroeris
(sometimes called Harer, Horus
the Elder) who was the falcon headed sky god and the right to Sobek
(the corcodile headed god). The two gods are accompanied by their families.
- Tour Egypt: The Temple of
of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the
Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman
The building is unique because its "double" design
meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets
The northern part [left side] of the temple was dedicated to ... Horus the Elder...The southern half [right sise] of the temple was dedicated
to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with
Hathor and Khonsu.
The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main
The temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor (180-145 BC) at the beginning
of his reign and added to by other Ptolemys, most notably Ptolemy XIII (47-44
BC), who built the inner and outer hypostyle halls...
Much of the temple has been destroyed by the Nile, earthquakes, and later builders
who used its stones for other projects. Some of the reliefs inside were defaced by
Copts who once used the temple as a church.
Temple of Kom Ombo 1/2010
Like other Egyptian temples, Kom Ombo had a great
pylon, but this
was washed away by the Nile long ago. Most of the forecourt is gone as well, with
only low walls and stumps of pillars remaining.
The main sight at Kom Ombo is the beautiful Outer Hypostyle Hall, - illustrated
above - with 15 thick columns topped with floral capitals and a cornice
decorated with carved winged sun-discs (Uraei).
The bases of the columns bear the heraldic lily of Upper Egypt (lotus)
and the papyrus symbol of
the Nile Delta. Significant portions of the roof remain, which are decorated with
flying vultures (Wadjet)
and astronomical imagery.
- Sacred Destinations:
Temple of Sobek and Haroeris, Kom Ombo 1/2010
Sobek is associated with the wicked god Seth, the enemy
In the Horus myth the allies of Seth made their escape by changing themselves into
SobekÝs chief sanctuary was at Kom Ombo, where there were once huge numbers of crocodiles.
Until recent times the Egyptian Nile was infested with these ferocious animals, who
would lay on the riverbank and devour animals and humans alike. So it is not surprising
that the local inhabitants went in fear.
They believed that as a totem animal, and object of worship, it would not attack
them. Captive crocodiles were kept within the temple and many mummified crocodiles
have been found in cemeteries, some of which can be seen in the temple sanctuary
- Mark Millmore, The
Graeco Roman Temple at Kom Ombo 1/2010
Photos and their arrangement © 2009 Chuck
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