The Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as Djeser-Djeseru (Holy of Holies), stands as a testament to one of Ancient Egypt’s most extraordinary pharaohs. Hatshepsut, the daughter of King Thutmose I, ascended to the throne by marrying her half-brother Thutmose II and later became the regent for her stepson, Thutmose III. After his death, she took the unprecedented step of declaring herself pharaoh around 1473 B.C., becoming one of the few and most famous female pharaohs.


Architectural Marvel: The Arqueture


The temple’s design was heavily influenced by the adjacent Temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty, built six centuries earlier. However, Hatshepsut’s temple introduced significant innovations in its construction. The temple was designed to integrate harmoniously with its natural surroundings. It was built directly into the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari on the west bank of the Nile River, opposite Luxor. This design choice created a visually stunning effect, making the temple appear as an extension of the mountain itself, which took place between Hatshepsut’s seventh and twentieth regnal year to be finished.


Terraced Structure

One of the most striking features of the temple is its terraced structure. It consists of three colossal terraces that ascend from the desert floor and are connected by long ramps that were once surrounded by gardens. This design was unprecedented in its scale and complexity for the time.

Colonnaded Porticoes

Each terrace is lined with a colonnade of square pillars, which are notable for their elegant design and the intricate reliefs they bear. These reliefs depict various important events from Hatshepsut’s reign, such as the trading expedition to Punt.

Sanctuary of the Sun

At the uppermost terrace, there is a sanctuary dedicated to the sun god, Amon-Ra. This sanctuary was carved deep into the cliff face and is a significant religious aspect of the temple’s design.

Chapel of Anubis and Hathor

The temple also features chapels dedicated to Anubis, the god of mummification and the afterlife, and Hathor, the goddess of love and joy. These chapels are adorned with statues and reliefs that reflect their respective deities’ attributes.

Architectural Influence

Interestingly, the temple’s architecture, designed by Senenmut, Hatshepsut’s steward and architect, closely resembles classical Greek architecture, which would not develop until 1,000 years later. This suggests that the temple’s design may have influenced or coincided with early Greek architectural ideas.


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Queen Hatshepsut  Achievements


Hatshepsut, the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, was a visionary leader whose reign from approximately 1478-1458 B.C. left an indelible mark on the history of ancient Egypt. Her legacy is multifaceted, encompassing peace, prosperity, and monumental advancements.


1- Architect of Prosperity

During her reign, Hatshepsut focused on building Egypt’s wealth and power not through conquest, but through trade and diplomacy. She re-established trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt and initiated trade expeditions to the Land of Punt, which brought back riches such as gold, ivory, spices, and incense. These resources not only enriched the Egyptian economy but also contributed to the religious and cultural life of the kingdom.

2- Monuments and Masterpieces

Hatshepsut was an unparalleled builder in Egypt’s history. She commissioned hundreds of construction projects throughout both Upper and Lower Egypt. Her buildings were grander and more numerous than those of her predecessors. Among her most famous constructions is her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari, which is considered one of the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt.

3- A Pharaoh’s Image

In a bold move, Hatshepsut had herself depicted in the traditional regalia of a male pharaoh – with a false beard and kilt – in statues and reliefs. This was not an attempt to hide her gender but rather to align herself with the traditional image of kingship in ancient Egyptian society. It was a strategic decision that allowed her to consolidate her power and legitimize her rule. Which made her buried in the Valley of the Kings, in a tomb known as KV20. The choice of her burial site was significant, as it was located in the heart of a sacred necropolis, symbolizing her eternal status among the great rulers of Egypt. Her mummy, however, was believed to have been moved to KV60, a smaller tomb, possibly to protect it from tomb robbers. Another place where you can find one of the great collections of mummies is the Grand Egyptian Museum, where you can find more than 22 mummies including Ramsis II.

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4- Religious Innovations

Hatshepsut also played a significant role in the development of Egyptian religion. She claimed divine birth and portrayed herself as the chosen successor of the god Amun. Her temple at Deir el-Bahari was designed not only as a funerary monument but also as a sanctuary for the god. This intertwining of her personal narrative with the divine narrative strengthened her position as pharaoh.

5- Diplomatic Relations

Hatshepsut maintained and improved Egypt’s foreign relations with neighboring states. Her peaceful policies and focus on trade over military conquest allowed Egypt to flourish and maintain its status as a superpower in the ancient world.

6- Educational and Cultural Development

Under Hatshepsut’s rule, Egypt saw significant cultural development. She patronized the arts, and her reign was a time of great artistic innovation. The style of artwork during her time was characterized by a sense of realism and attention to detail that had not been seen before.


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Echoes of Eternity: The Temple of Hatshepsut with Horizon Travel


Pause and reflect on the journey you’ve embarked upon. As you traverse the ancient path to the Temple of Hatshepsut, the echoes of a bygone era whisper in the wind. This majestic structure, nestled against the limestone cliffs of Deir el-Bahari, is not just an architectural marvel; it’s a portal to the past, a testament to a queen’s ambition, and a chronicle of humanity’s timeless pursuit of greatness.

With our Egypt Travel Packages, experience the grandeur of Hatshepsut’s vision as you ascend the terraced levels of her temple. Also learn about the important attractions of Luxor like Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple, inviting you to ponder the legacy of one of Egypt’s most remarkable rulers.