The Dendera complex lies approximately 50 miles north of Luxor and on the west bank of the Nile. It contains some of the best preserved and most accessible ancient Egyptian ruins to be found in Egypt, including temples, tombs, and even a Christian chapel.
History of Dendera
The most prominent site in the Dendera complex is the Ptolemaic-era Temple of Hathor. Dating back to the first century BC, Dendera’s Temple of Hathor was continually developed throughout the Ptolemaic and Roman eras and contains references to both Egyptian rulers and Roman Emperors – including Nero, Domitian, and Trajan.
Although the Temple of Hathor is a relatively late construction by Ancient Egyptian standards, the Dendera complex as a whole dates back much further, with the current temple having been built upon the remains of older structures.
As well as the Temple of Hathor, other notable areas at Dendera include both Egyptian- and Roman-era birth houses, a chapel dedicated to the Egyptian deity Isis, the gateways of Domitian and Trajan and a late-Roman Empire period Christian basilica.
Many tourists will visit Dendera on a day trip from Luxor and, given that a number of tour companies offer this option from many Luxor hotels, this can be the most practical way to explore the Dendera complex and Temple of Hathor. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Egypt.
Getting to Dendera
From the centre of Qena, Dendera is a 15 minute drive via Qena – Luxor Rd/Qena – Nag Hammady Rd/Route 60M and Aswan Western Agricultural Rd/Roads and Bridges Administration. By foot, it takes around an hour.
Immerse yourself in the ancient land of pharaohs, exploring the greatest pyramids in the world at Giza to the sites of reflection at El Alamein, within this travel guide to the best Egyptian historic landmarks.