A magnificent temple for a magnificent woman
Also known as the Djeser-Djeseru, the "Holy of Holies" in Ancient Egyptian language, the temple was built for the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Hatshepsut, the longest reigning female pharaoh, regarded by historians as one of the most successful leaders of Ancient Egypt and as the "first great woman in history".
The sanctuary is a mortuary, or memorial, temple, constructed in honour of the pharaoh under which it was built. Despite being around 3500 years old, its long colonnaded terrace almost looks like contemporary architecture, and the elegant symmetry contrasts strikingly with the rugged cliff face that looms above it.
In its heyday, the Temple of Hatshepsut would have been surrounded by glorious gardens filled with exotic trees and plants, reached via a sphinx-lined avenue. Over the millennia, as well as the usual erosion and decay suffered by the ancient monuments, the temple was vandalised by Haptshepsut's stepson Tuthmosis III and the early Christians, amongst others. Nevertheless, thanks to careful restoration, it still retains its splendour and is well worth a visit.
Deir el-Bahari, where the temple is located, is generally regarded to be one of the hottest places on earth. We therefore recommend you visit early to avoid as much of the day's heat as possible! The early morning light also offers the best illumination of the temple's reliefs.
Combine your visit
The Temple of Hatshepsut is located opposite Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile, famous as the site of thousands of years of royal burials during Ancient Egypt. While it can be easily reached from Luxor, the easiest way to get there is to book a guided tour that includes visits to the nearby monuments of the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and the Colossi of Memnon:
Daily between 6 am and 5 pm.
Adults: 80 LE (US$ 5)
Students (with valid ID): 40 LE (US$ 2.50)