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Temple of Deir El-Bahari (Hatshepsut) Temple of Deir El-Bahari (Hatshepsut)
Photo by Victor Kondos © 2009 Your Egypt

The great temple of Hatshepsut is built at the bottom of sheer cliffs in Luxor's west bank in a wonderful site. The chief temple is built by Queen Hatshepsut and other constructions were added by other rulers.

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Hatshepsut is the daughter of Thutmose I and wife of her half-brother King Thutmose II. After the death of Thutmose II, a power struggle surfaced between Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose II's son Thutmose III (son of another wife). Hatshepsut was announced as a co-regent with Thutmose III, but she eventually overshadowed him and announced herself the 'king-Pharaoh' of Egypt. She was pictured with masculine attributes in many reliefs. To boost her position she claimed a divine birth and depicted her story in her temple.

After Hatshepsut's death, Thutmose III rose to power and managed to revenge from her. He started to efface her name from her establishments.
In Christian eras the temple was changed to a monastery, hence the name DeirWhat does it mean? El-Bahari.

The temple of Hatshepsut is built in three levels connected by ramps. The first terrace was once nourished by myrrh trees imported from the land of Punt (probably present-day Somalia).

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The first ramp is bounded by colonnadesWhat does it mean? (porticosWhat does it mean?). The ramp leads to the second terrace which is also bounded by colonnades. The reliefs behind the colonnade carry the important story of Hatshepsut's expedition to the land of Punt.

To the extreme left-hand side in the second terrace there is an entrance flanked by square pillars that leads to a shrine dedicated to Goddess HathorWho is this deity?. Other reliefs behind the colonnades carry the divine birth story of Hatshepsut. To the extreme right-hand side of the court there is a chapel dedicated to AnubisWho is this deity?. The chapel is sided by an unfinished sanctuary.

The second ramp opens into the last terrace which has rows of colonnades and an entrance that gets you to the upper hypostyleWhat does it mean? hall that has the temple's sanctuary and chapels dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut and her father hewn out in the rock. This part of the temple was recently opened in early 2002 after completing restoration work by Egyptian-Polish restoration team that lasted more than 40 years.

To the south of Hatshepsut's temple a small temple built by Thutmose III was found damaged because of a landslide.

Going further south, there are ruins of mortuary temple of Montuhotep II (Nabhepetre). This temple was built earlier in the 11th dynasty and seldomly contained a royal tomb. Its design is similar to that of Hatshepsut's temple.
The tomb of Senenmut, Hatshepsut's adviser, can also be found around.
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