Esna is a small village about 58 km (36 miles) south to Luxor.
It is a site of Nile barrages built by the British in the early
The temple is located in a depression about 9 meters (30 ft)
on the west bank of the Nile below the street level. The accumulated
mud and rubbles were responsible for that ground level difference.
The temple is not completely excavated and part of it is believed
to be buried under the village. Now only the hypostyle
hall can be seen.
The temple was used as a storehouse during the reign of Mohamed
Ali. It was built by the Ptolemies
and the Roman
emperors in dedication to the ram-headed God Khnum,
the god creator of mankind.
The hall, which is in a good condition, was probably built
or only decorated by Roman Emperor Claudius. It has a beautiful
astronomical ceiling depicting many Roman emperors contributing
to the deities as a symbol of their respect for the Egyptian
The 24 columns that support the hypostyle hall have a variety
of finely cut floral capitals (See Image 4). The walls bear
the names and figures of Roman emperors like Vespasian, Domitian,
Trajan, Hadrian and other emperors.