Temple of Debod

Temple of Debod
Native name
Spanish: Templo de Debod
Location Madrid, Spain
Coordinates 40°25′26.59″N 3°43′04″W / 40.4240528°N 3.71778°W / 40.4240528; -3.71778Coordinates: 40°25′26.59″N 3°43′04″W / 40.4240528°N 3.71778°W / 40.4240528; -3.71778
Built 200 BC
Rebuilt 1970-1972
Official name: Templo de Debod
Type Non-movable
Criteria Monument
Designated 2008
Reference no. RI-51-0012074
Templo de Debod in Egypt before relocation to Spain.
Current arrangement in Madrid.

The Temple of Debod[1] (Spanish: Templo de Debod) is an ancient Egyptian temple which was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid, Spain.

The shrine was originally erected 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Aswan[2] in Upper Egypt, very close to the first cataract of the Nile and to the great religious center dedicated to the goddess Isis, in Philae. In the early 2nd century BC, Adikhalamani (Tabriqo), the Kushite king of Meroë, started its construction by building a small single room chapel dedicated to the god Amun.[2] It was built and decorated on a similar design to the later Meroitic chapel on which the Temple of Dakka is based.[2] Later, during the reigns of Ptolemy VI, Ptolemy VIII and Ptolemy XII of the Ptolemaic dynasty, it was extended on all four sides to form a small temple, 12 by 15 metres (39 ft × 49 ft), which was dedicated to Isis of Philae. The Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius completed its decorations.[3]

From the quay there is a long processional way leading to the stone-built enclosure wall, through three stone pylon gateways and finally to the temple itself.[2] The pronaos, which had four columns with composite capitals collapsed in 1868, and is now lost.[2] Behind it lay the original sanctuary of Amun, the offering table room and a later sanctuary with several side-rooms and stairs to the roof.[2]

In 1960, due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the consequent threat posed by its reservoir to numerous monuments and archeological sites, UNESCO made an international call to save this rich historical legacy.[4][5] As a sign of gratitude for the help provided by Spain in saving the Abu Simbel temples, the Egyptian state donated the temple of Debod to Spain in 1968.

The temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid's parks, the Parque del Oeste, near the Royal Palace of Madrid, and opened to the public in 1972.[6] The reassembled gateways have been placed in a different order than when originally erected. Compared to a photo of the original site, the gateway topped by a serpent flanked sun was not the closest gateway to the temple proper.[7] It constitutes one of the few works of ancient Egyptian architecture which can be seen outside Egypt and the only one of its kind in Spain.

See also

The four temples donated to countries assisting the relocation are:


  1. Other spellings: Debot, Debout, Dabod or Dabud
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dieter Arnold, Nigel Strudwick & Sabine Gardiner, The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture, I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2003. p.64
  3. Dieter Arnold, Temples of the Last Pharaohs, Oxford University Press, 1999. p.193
  4. Monuments of Nubia-International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia World Heritage Committee, UNESCO
  5. The Rescue of Nubian Monuments and Sites, UNESCO
  6. Arnold, Temples of the Last Pharaohs, p.193
  7. The Temple of Dabod, Nubia - ID: 76467 - NYPL Digital Gallery

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Temple of Debod.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.