Where is the Temple of Kalabsha Located
The Temple of Kalabsha is located in southern Egypt, approximately 50 km (31 miles) south of Aswan, near the western shore of Lake Nasser.
It is situated on the site of the ancient Nubian city of Talmis, which was an important center for trade and worship during the Pharaonic era.
The Temple was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus and was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis.
Today, the Temple is a popular tourist attraction and is part of the Nubian Monuments UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Who Built the Temple of Kalabsha?
The Temple of Kalabsha was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus in the early 1st century AD. The Temple was constructed on the site of an earlier structure,
which was probably built by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom period. The Roman Temple was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, and it was built by the Roman prefect of Egypt, Publius Petronius.
The Temple was decorated with reliefs depicting Augustus, scenes of offerings to the gods, and other religious motifs.
Today, the Temple of Kalabsha is considered one of Egypt’s finest examples of Roman-era temple architecture.
The History of the Temple of Kalabsha
The Temple of Kalabsha is an ancient Egyptian temple that dates back to the Roman period, specifically to the reign of Emperor Augustus in the early 1st century AD.
However, the temple site has a much longer history, returning to the Pharaonic period.
The Temple was built on the site of an earlier temple that was probably constructed by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom period.
This earlier Temple was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, who was worshipped in the region, and the Temple was also known as the Temple of Mandulis.
During the Roman period, the Temple was rebuilt on a grander scale by the Roman prefect of Egypt, Publius Petronius.
The new Temple was dedicated to the same god, Mandulis, and was constructed using local sandstone.
The Temple was decorated with reliefs depicting the emperor Augustus, scenes of offerings to the gods, and other religious motifs.
In the 1960s, the construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened to flood the Temple and other ancient sites. As a result, the Temple was dismantled and moved to a new location on a hill overlooking Lake Nasser.
The temple relocation was part of a significant international effort to save the ancient monuments of Nubia from being submerged by the lake’s rising waters.
The Construction of the Kalabsha Temple
The Temple of kalabsha was built using local sandstone quarried from nearby hills. The sandstone blocks were cut and shaped using traditional tools and transported to the temple site using sleds and boats.
The Temple was designed in the traditional Egyptian style, with a series of halls, courtyards, and sanctuaries arranged around a central axis.
The main entrance to the Temple was through a large pylon, or monumental gateway, decorated with reliefs depicting the emperor Augustus and other Roman officials.
The Temple’s central sanctuary housed a cult statue of the god, made of black granite and depicted Mandulis with a falcon’s head and a solar disk on his forehead.
The sanctuary was also decorated with reliefs and paintings depicting scenes from the life of the god and Egyptian mythology.
The Temple of kalabsha was also decorated with numerous inscriptions, which provided valuable insights into the religious beliefs and practices of the Nubian people.
Many of these inscriptions were written in the Meroitic script, which the Nubians used as a written language.
In the 1960s, the Temple was dismantled and moved to a new location on a hill overlooking Lake Nasser as part of a significant international effort to save the ancient monuments of Nubia
from being submerged by the lake’s rising waters.
Despite not being finished, the temple is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Nubian architecture. Its architecture is typical of Roman times,
but it features beautiful reliefs illustrating Horus emerging from the reeds and many later records of governors such as Aurelio Besarion or the Nubian king Silko, head of a Christian kingdom called Nobatia.