Another day, another amazing marvel of the ancient Egyptian world. This time the sunken temple of Esna was on the program. This temple was submerged by decades of Nile flooding and sediment deposits. The remaining covered roof areas served as homes to local villages which led to severe smoke damage. French archeologists are now restoring the temple to it’s former glory.
Dedicated to the god Khnum and his consorts Menhit and Nebtu, the temple of Esna is remarkable for the beauty of its site and the magnificence of its architecture. It was built of red sandstone, and its portico consisted of six rows of four columns each, with lotus-leaf capitals, all of which however differ from each other. Within a year the temple will celebrate a grand reopening after careful restauration.
Elsewhere in the town of Esna we visited the recently renovated market which was financed by USAID funds. Down the street was the local oil pressing facility also completely renovated to support artisans in their work of preserving traditional crafts.
Our tour continued on foot through local streets with life unfolding in front of our eyes. Mesmerizing and thought provoking at the same time, Egypt delivers contrasts on so many levels. The rest of the day was dedicated to cruising down the Nile to Luxor. We all needed a bit of rest and chill time aboard our very own sanctuary.