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Over a long period of time, the Egyptians built numerous temples along the Nile. Two of the most famous, at Karnak and Luxor, are featured in the IMAX® film Mysteries of Egypt. These impressive structures, with their huge columned halls and pylon gateways, were built to honour the dead and venerate local and national gods.

Luxor temple; 
CMC PCD 2001-289-059 Luxor temple; 
CMC PCD 2001-289-027

Temples were places where the gods and their divine energy could reside, separated from everything else in the world. According to the Egyptian creation legend, the first temple came into existence on a mound of land that rose up from the primeval sea, called Nun. The first form of life to appear on that mound was a plant on which the falcon, Horus, first perched. Another version of this story describes the lotus flower as the first plant on which the sun emerged. Following this, human beings were created. This moment was called the First Occasion. As sentient beings, the Egyptians reciprocated by building temples to revere and nourish the gods.

Mortuary complex of Djoser; 
CMC S 97 10680; 
PCD 2001-272-053

The design of the first temple was laid down by the gods, and each successive temple was a copy of the first one. The design encouraged the gods to bring divine energy into the earth's plane. Priests worked at the temples, conducting the daily rituals in honour of the deities and pharaohs to whom the temples were dedicated.

Karnak       Luxor

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