Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

The greatest buildings of the era of the New Kingdom were the temples, or “houses” of the gods, as they were called by the ancient Egyptians. The waters of the Nile divided Ancient Egypt into two parts: eastern and western, into the Kingdom of the Living and the Kingdom of the Dead. On the east bank of the Nile, the palaces of the pharaohs and huge temples were erected, glorifying the gods; pyramids, tombs, and memorial temples were built on the west bank, where a service was held in honor of the dead and deified pharaohs. One of them is the memorial church of Queen Hatshepsut (1525-1503 BC), dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Hatshepsut was the only female pharaoh in Egyptian history. She was given all the secular and religious honors appropriate for the pharaohs, she was depicted, as it should be for the real pharaoh, with the attributes of Osiris, with a beard tied under his chin. The female pharaoh Hatshepsut was an outstanding person. The tsarina woke the fantasy of novelists for many years and made new mysteries to Egyptologists. After the death of her father, Thutmose I, she married her stepbrother Thutmose II. When he died at a fairly early age, his only heir was the young Thutmose III, the son of one of the youngest wives of the pharaoh. Hatshepsut ruled the state on his behalf and held the throne for 22 years.

During their reign, Hatshepsut did not so much fight, as she built new ones and restored old temples. During the reign of the Queen in the Nile Valley, significant construction work was carried out, including the rebuilding and expansion of the Temple of Amun in Karnak. Perhaps Hatshepsut thereby sought to immortalize his name. A distant sea expedition to the distant country of Punt is also associated with her name. The glorification of Queen Hatshepsut was served by her numerous statues. Until now, the death of Hatshepsut remains a mystery. Her mummy is not identified. The version that she was killed by Thutmose III is also not confirmed.

Hatshepsut Temple was built next to the temple of Pharaoh Mentuhotep I, who was revered as the founder of the pharaohs of the XVIII dynasty. Queen Hatshepsut thereby wanted to emphasize her right to the throne seized by her, bypassing the rightful heir.

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

The construction of the memorial temple began during the life of Queen Hatshepsut. It was built by the court architect Senmouth. When erecting the temple, Senmouth prepared a secret tomb in it for himself, and left his portrait in one of the hidden corners of the temple.

Ram stands at the foot of the steeply cliffing cliffs of the Libyan Plateau, which not only serve as an unprecedented backdrop for architecture, but also merge with it into a unique whole. The temple is located on three terraces connected by ramps (sloping platforms) and framed by pillars and columns. To visit the temple, you had to walk along the avenue of sphinxes, stretching from the banks of the Nile, and climb the terraces to the sanctuary, cut down in the thickness of the rocks. The strict appearance of the temple was diversified by the statues of Queen Hatshepsut in the guise of Osiris; columns, on the capitals (upper parts) of which the head of the goddess Hathor was carved; murals and painted reliefs (many of which depicted a trip to the distant country of Punt). Ponds were located on spacious terraces, trees grew, exotic flowers, birds sang.

The luxurious decoration of the Hatshepsut Temple did not last long. After the death of the queen, the legitimate heir who ascended the throne, Thutmose III, first of all ordered to destroy all the images of his predecessor throughout the country and erase all the inscriptions where her name was mentioned. All the sculptures of the temple were broken and buried nearby, where many centuries later, they were discovered by archaeologists.