About Temple of Hatshepsut

The mortuary temple of Hatshepsut (Egyptian: Ḏsr-ḏsrw meaning “Holy of Holies”) is a mortuary which temple people built it during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Located opposite the city of Luxor, it is considered to be a masterpiece of ancient architecture. Its three massive terraces rise above the desert floor and into the cliffs of Deir el Bahari. Her tomb, KV20, lies inside the same massif capped by El Qurn, a pyramid for her mortuary complex.

Significantly, at the edge of the desert, 1 km east. Connected to the complex by a causeway lies the accompanying valley temple. Across the river Nile, the whole structure points towards the monumental Eighth Pylon. Hatshepsut’s most recognizable addition to the Temple of Karnak. And the site from which the procession of the Beautiful Festival of the Valley departed.  Its main east-west axis served to receive the barque of Amun Re at the climax of the festival, while its north-south axis represented the life cycle of the pharaoh from coronation to rebirth.

Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut
partially reconstructed limestone temple


Hathor shrine

At the south end of the middle terrace is a shrine belongs to the goddess Hathor. The shrine is separated from the temple and is accessed by a ramp from the lower terrace, although an alternative entrance existed at the upper terrace. The ramp opens to a portico adorned with four columns carrying Hathor capitals. The walls of the entrance contain scenes of Hathor being fed by Hatshepsut.

 Inside are two hypostyle halls, firstly, containing 12 columns and secondly, containing 16. Beyond this are a vestibule containing two columns and a double sanctuary. Reliefs on the walls of the shrine depict Hathor with Hatshepsut, the goddess Weret-hekhau presenting the pharaoh with a Menat necklace, and Senenmut. Hathor holds special significance in Thebes, representing the hills of Deir el-Bahari, and also to Hatshepsut who presented herself as a reincarnation of the goddess. Hathor is also associated with Punt, which is the subject of reliefs in the proximate portico.