Hypostyle ceiling

The Enigmatic Beauty of the Hypostyle Ceiling

As we step into the heart of this ancient sanctuary, we are transported to a world where history and divinity converge. Here, within the hallowed confines of the hypostyle ceiling, the past comes alive, and the sacred rituals of Hathor, the goddess of love and motherhood, unfold before our eyes.

The First Hypostyle: A Gateway to the Divine

The journey begins at the rear wall of the first hypostyle, where the façade of the original temple stands as a testament to bygone eras. A doorway beckons us forward, leading to a smaller hypostyle known as the ‘hall of appearances.’ It is here that the goddess Hathor would make her annual entrance, a moment of divine significance. The six graceful Hathor columns that grace this chamber rise like sentinels, supporting a roof adorned with square apertures that allow gentle rays of sunlight to dance within.

A Tapestry of Ritual and Mystery

The walls of this sacred space bear witness to the king’s participation in ritual foundation ceremonies. However, the cartouches, those sacred enclosures that held the names of rulers, remain blank, a silent testimony to the uncertain times of the period. On either side of this hall, we find three chambers, once used as storerooms or chapels integral to the daily rituals. Staircases leading to the temple’s roof beckon from each side, inviting us to ascend to higher realms.

Beyond the Second Hypostyle: Where Devotion Takes Shape

Passing through the second hypostyle, we arrive at the ‘hall of offerings.’ Here, the dedicated priests and priestesses of Hathor carried out their daily devotions, a sacred choreography that connected the earthly with the divine. The ambiance here is one of reverence, where the very air seems to shimmer with spirituality.

A Gathering of Deities: The Hall of the Ennead

Before us lies the ‘hall of the Ennead,’ also known as the ‘hall of the cycle of the gods.’ It is here that the statues of associated divinities were congregated on feast days, a celestial assembly of divine beings. At the heart of this chamber, a central barque shrine once cradled the naos, the sacred dwelling place of Hathor’s cult statue.

A Gift to the Goddess

As we stand before the threshold, we witness a poignant scene carved in stone. On either side of the door, the king extends a humble offering—an exquisite copper mirror, one of Hathor’s sacred emblems—to the goddess herself. It is a moment frozen in time, a gesture of devotion that transcends the ages.

In the hypnotic embrace of the Hypostyle Ceiling, we find ourselves immersed in a world of ancient mysteries and timeless rituals. Here, the goddess Hathor’s presence lingers, and the very stones seem to whisper secrets of devotion and divinity. It is a sacred space that invites us to unravel its enigmatic beauty and partake in the spiritual journey of a bygone era.

Created On March 25, 2020

Updated On January 26, 2024

QENA Travel Guide
Close-up of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh statue carved in stone
An eternal stone sentinel, the pharaoh's countenance surveys the passage of time with unwavering dignity
Close-up of two ancient Egyptian cartouches engraved in stone
This image showcases a pair of Egyptian cartouches, which are oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. The intricate hieroglyphs are carved in relief on a stone surface

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