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Temple of Hatshepsut

Temple of Hatshepsut

In terms of visual impact from afar, there is no rival to Hatshepsut’s Temples. The unique multi-tiered structure nestled up against the limestone cliffs at the shoulder of the river valley is a truly stunning sight.

The uniqueness of its layout mirrors that of the pharaoh responsible for building it.

Hatshepsut was the only female pharaoh in the history of Ancient Egypt. She came to power during the New Kingdom after the death of her father, Tuthmose I, and her half-brother and husband, Tuthmose II, who succeeded her father on the thrown.

She originally served as queen-regent to her husbands son by another wife, Tuthmose III, but seized the thrown from him and managing to hold onto power until her death. However, Hatshepsut’s status as the only female to rule Egypt is not the only reason for her fame.

She was also a very successful pharaoh. She ruled over an era of peace and prosperity, expanding lucrative trade routes to the land of Punt in the south.
This accomplishment is immortalized in the relief carvings at her temple. She also contributed significant to many temples, including Karnak.
The temple was in ruins when it was discovered in the mid-19th century, having been heavily vandalized by Tuthmose III after he assumed the thrown, presumably because Hatshepsut had kept him from power.

The site was also used as a monastery during the early centuries AD, which probably contributed to its deterioration. As a result, it has been heavily restored.

Most of the columns are not original and much of the relief paintings have not been well preserved. For this reason, the temple can be a bit disappointing close up, especially given its popularity with tour groups.
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