The physical temple of Horus at Edfu is the site of one of the oldest places of the worship of Har (Horus). Edfu sits on the earlier region named Watjasat Har (The Place where Horus is extolled). A very prosperous town, due to Watjasat Har’s proximity to routes to nearby gold mines in the eastern desert.
The town had both a sacred name and a secular name. Its sacred name being BaHdat meaning ‘great seat’ or ‘throne’. Its secular name was Djaba’a, meaning “float of reeds, and alludes to its cosmogony of the float of reeds that arose out of the chaos waters of Nanw (Nun) and became the perch of Har. By Coptic times the town Djaba’a was pronounced Etbo, and were it became the Arabic Edfu.
The earliest stone temple is attested to being designed by Imhotep, vizier and chief architect to Djoser (c. 2600 b.c.e.) and a woman named Kharadw ﻉnkh. Little is known of that temple, except that it was dedicated to the triad of Har BaHdatya (Horus Behdety), His consort Hwt Har (Hathor) of Dandara, and Their son Har sama’ ta’wya (Horus, uniter of the Two Lands).
Over the millennia, several Pharaohs contributed to the building of the Temple, including Sety I (1294-1279 b.c.e.), Ramesses II (1279-1213 b.c.e.), Ramesses III (1184-1153 b.c.e.) and Nectanebo II (360-343 b.c.e.). Most of what stands today is attributed to the massive temple building of Ptolemy III Euergetes II (246-222 b.c.e.).
Work on the Ptolemaic temple began in 237 b.c.e. Formal dedication of the inner naos of the temple was performed by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II and his wife Cleopatra II on 10 September 142 b.c.e. Work continued, with greater additions added by the succeeding Pharaohs, and in 57 b.c.e. the pylon doors were hung and the temple completed.
Here you will find links to articles and media of the several rooms of the main temple and other structures of significance in ancient Djaba’a.