Dendera day trip from Marsa Alam
The Dendera temple has a very unique Great Hypostyle hall with eighteen columns. The late Ptolemies and the Romans found it politically expedient, and pleasurable to associate themselves with the goddess Hathor; Cleopatra, Augustus, Claudius, and Nero sponsored the decoration of the temple.
- Hotel pickup around 05:15 and transfer with A/C vehicle to Dendera temple, the journey takes about three hours and a half.
- Drive in the desert and the Red Sea Mountains
- Visit the temple with its very unique style, pillars, colors, pylons, chapels, zodiac, Cleopatra, and Caesar scenes.
- Visit the crypts to see the source of light
- Get to the second floor and marvel at the awesome architectural style
- Drive back to Marsa Alam to be in the hotel
The Temple of Hathor was largely constructed during the Late Ptolemaic period, specifically during the reign of Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VII. Later additions were made during the Roman period. Although built by a dynasty of rulers who were not native Egyptians themselves, the design of this temple has been found to be in accordance to that of other classical Egyptian temples, with the exception of the front of the hypostyle hall, which, according to an inscription above the entrance, was constructed by the Emperor Tiberius.
Apart from these, there are also scenes in the temple complex portraying the Ptolemaic rulers. For example, carved onto the external face of one of the temple walls is a huge relief of Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar and co-ruler, Ptolemy XV (better known as Caesarion). The two Ptolemaic rulers are shown dressed in Egyptian garb, and offering sacrifices.
Hathor was also regarded as a goddess of healing, and this is evident in the presence of a sanatorium in the temple complex. Here, pilgrims would come to be cured by the goddess. Sacred water (which was made holy by having it poured onto statues inscribed with sacred texts) was used for bathing, unguents were dispensed by the priests of Hathor, and sleeping quarters were provided for those hoping that the goddess would appear in their dreams, and so aid them.