The Hatshepsut Temple, also known as the Deir el-Bahari temple, is an ancient temple complex located on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt. It was built by the Pharaoh Hatshepsut in the 15th century BCE.
Hatshepsut was one of Egypt’s few female pharaohs and ruled as regent for her stepson, Thutmose III. She was a successful ruler known for her trade expeditions and her architectural projects, including the construction of the Hatshepsut Temple.
The temple was designed as a mortuary temple, dedicated to the sun god Amun-Ra and Hatshepsut herself. It was built on several terraces against the cliffs of the Theban Necropolis, with the intention of serving as a funerary monument and a place of worship.
The design of the temple is unique and showcases Hatshepsut’s innovative architectural style. It consists of three colonnaded terraces connected by ramps, with statues and reliefs depicting Hatshepsut’s divine birth and her achievements as a pharaoh.
The temple’s main architectural feature is the colonnade of the second terrace, which consists of dozens of square columns carved with images of the pharaoh. These columns were partially destroyed by Thutmose III after Hatshepsut’s death in an attempt to erase her memory from history.
The Hatshepsut Temple fell into disrepair after the decline of the New Kingdom and was extensively damaged by earthquakes and flooding. It was buried under rubble for centuries until it was rediscovered in the 19th century.
Today, the Hatshepsut Temple is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It stands as a testament to the power and grandeur of an influential female pharaoh and is considered one of the most important architectural achievements of ancient Egypt.