Qena is a provincial capital located about 57 miles from El Balyana and 39 miles north of
Luxor. It is most famous for its proximity to the ruins of Dendara. It owes its modern prosperity to the opening of the Wadi Qena towards the Red Sea, which is a major traffic route between Upper Egypt and the
Red Sea. Tourists traveling between
Luxor and the
Red Sea will assuredly pass through this City.
The city also has a considerable Islamic heritage and a famous Mosque. The Maghrebi Abd el¬ Rahim settled in Qena upon his return from
Mecca and founded a Sufi center here. Upon his death in 1195, the mosque was built above his tomb and became a place of pilgrimage. There is a huge modem mosque of Sheikh el-Qenawi in the main square which attests to his importance.
Hathor temple Dendera
The temple in located in Qena the capital of the province inhabited by Coptic and Muslims, POP 2,000,000. This town is very famous for manufacture of water pots, called in Arabic “gula” jars. The modern town of
Qena was founded by the holy Muslim Shiek Abdel Raheeem El Kenawi who spent all of his life in this town and died in 1170 AD. The birthday of this saint is celebrated every year, and a great number of pilgrims come from all over
Egypt for this celebration. The name of the city goes back to the time of the pharaohs, it was taken from the ancient Egyptian word Qeny, which means to bend. this name was chosen for the city because the Nile river is taking a curve shape in this spot The
Hathor at Dendera was built in the 1st c BC and It is one of the best preserved temples in all of
Egypt. It was built by Ptolemy 8th and Queen Cleopatra 2nd and then later Roman Emperors continued to decorate it and honor of the goddess Hathor, the goddess of love, music and maternity. The goddess Hathor was identified by the Greeks with Aphrodite.
When visitors pass through the first gateway, built by Roman Emperor Domitian at 8OAD. This gate leads to the main building of the temple. The great hall of the temple is decorated with Hathoric columns, columns with the face of Hathor, This is found is very good state of preservation. The front upper edge of the cornice is decorated with the winged sun disc.
The temple, which lies in a pit below the of the houses in Isna, is dedicated to the god.
Khnum. This ram god that was worshipped through out this area and who fashioned mankind mud of the
Nile on his potter’s wheel, He associated with other gods, including Menhyt sonsort), Nebtu (the goddess of the myside) and Hka (the manifestation of vital energy).
While all that remains of the temple is the Great Hbp tyle Hall, surrounding ruins of the ancient complex and city have yet to be excavated due to the modern housing built on the site. The temple sits atop the ruins of earlier temple(s).
Ptolemy VI originally began this building project, but in
Khnum was a later addition built by e Roman emperor Claudius in the 1st century. The rectangular hall opens to the west. Thu ‘sot is still intact, supported by 24 columns decorated with a series of text recording hymns to Khn n and relating the annual sacred festivals of lsnd ,ith scenes illustrating the surrounding countryside. The sacred festivals are the creation of if universe by Neith, the raising of the sky and his victory over the human rebels, They texts were done between the Greco-Roman period and the rule of Decius in 250 AD, but never finished. There are 16 different palrmd plant capitals on the columns, still with some good color. Looking up, one might almost feel .s though he or she were gazing up in a fore - The columns also record other nearby temp, including one at Kern Mer 7 1/2 miles south of Isna which has been excavated. The West sll of the
Khnum is all that remain of the original Ptolemaic temple and has relies of Ptolemy VI and Philometor and Euer gres II. In the forecourt of the temple are blocks from an early Christian church. Then also is an inscription found on the back of a block from Emperor Decius decreeing that Christians will suffer death if they do not sacrifice to the pagan gods.
The next site to the north is the ancient Coptic Church dated to the 4th or 5th century. It’s one of the early in
Egypt and it provides a good source for scholars studying Christianity in the country.
To the extreme north near the gates is another Birth House. This one was built by Roman Emperor Trajan and his successors.