Kom Ombo Temple at Nile river photo

Kom Ombo Temple is on the bank of the Nile, 50 kilometers north of Aswan. This is an unusual united temple, or, to be more exact, two temples standing next to each other. The northern temple is dedicated to the god of the sun Horus (falcon-headed deity), while the southern temple is dedicated to the god of fertility Sebek (crocodile-headed deity).

Kom Ombo Temple was built during the reign of Pharaoh Ptolemy VI, in 191-146 B.C. The hypostyle hall was added later, in 51–47 B.C., under Ptolemy XIII, and the courtyard was built already under the Roman emperor Trajan (53-117 A.D.).

The sanctuaries dedicated to the gods, have a symmetrical structure and are connected by two passages. In those days the Nile was swarmed with ferocious crocodiles, and the ancient Egyptians honored them and made them sacrifices. Crocodiles were kept in temples, and their mummies were buried in cemeteries (you can still see some of them near Kom Ombo Temple now).

Over the past 2,000 years, the Kom Ombo Temple has suffered much from floods and earthquakes. However, even now you can see there the magnificent hypostyle hall with 15 very massive columns. On the columns there were carved the scenes from the life of the Egyptian gods such as Osiris, Isis, Horus, Thoth and Sebek. On top you can see the heraldic lines of the Upper Nile, and the remaining roof is decorated with astronomical signs.

In the ruined sanctuaries you can see pedestals where once the sacred boats of the gods stood. The sacred well is to the west of the hypostyle hall, with steps leading down to the bottom of the well. In ancient times, it was used to measure water in the Nile in order to calculate taxes based on measurement results.