Hatshepsut Temple Overview
In the 7th century AD it was named after a Coptic monastery, known as the “Northern monastery”, today it is known as the Temple of Deir El-Bahri, which means in Arabic, the “Temple of the Northern monastery”.
This lovely structure is found in a steep half-circle of cliffs on the west bank of the Nile River and guarding the entrance to the great Valley of the Kings. The vast Temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari rivals the Pyramids as one of the great funerary monuments of the ancient world.
Built into the towering cliff face which shelters the Valley of the Kings on the other side, it rises on three enormous terraces connected by ramps, each level marked with a colonnade of stark, largely unadorned square pillars. It was approached by a 16-metre-wide (150-ft) causeway leading from a valley temple which no longer exists.
The queen's architect, Senenmut, designed it and set it at the head of a valley overshadowed by the Peak of the Thebes, the "Lover of Silence," where lived the goddess who presided over the necropolis. The inner part of the temple was actually cut into the cliff and consists of a peristyle court, a hypostyle hall and an underground passage leading into the tomb itself.
The cult of the dead king centered on the small shrine cut into the rear of the Hypostyle Hall. At the end of the Birth Colonnade and down some steps is the Chapel of Anubis, with fluted columns and colorful murals. The left side of the terrace is occupied by the Punt Colonnade, whose faint reliefs depict Hatshepsut's journey to the Land of Punt (the birthplace of Amun) to bring back myrrh trees for her temple.
At the end of the Punt Colonnade is the Chapel of Hathor, with capitals in the shape of the goddess' face and sacred rattle (sistrum). Inside the gated sanctuary of the Chapel of Hathor are reliefs of Hatshepsut (also preserved from destruction) worshipping the bovine Hathor on the left and a portrait of Senenmut on the right. Senenmut was the queen's favorite courtier.
The walls of Djeser-Djeseru are illustrated with Hatshepsut's autobiography, including stories of her fabled trip to the land of Punt, considered by some scholars likely to have been what is today Eritrea or Somalia. Although vandalized by Hatshepsut's foes and buried in sand for centuries, the Senmut's masterpiece loses no splendor.
It is an incredible expression of the absolute power of a pharaoh, whether woman or man.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.