Like the surviving structures at Dendera and Edfu, this is a Ptolemaic construction but has an unusual symmetrically twinned architecture in which all rooms and doors are mirrored on the other side of the building. Once inside, you'll see that there are two sanctuaries in the middle of the temple, each a mirror image of the other.
Dedicated, at least in part, to the crocodile god Sobek, the temple was built on a bit of low land that juts out into the Nile. Real crocodiles, it is said, used to bask here, and mummified crocodiles were interred in crypts beneath the building. There is a small display of these just inside the main entrance.
While this structure hasn't stood the test of time as well as the Temple of Horus in Edfu, partly because it was built closer to the flood waters of the river, it has a particular charm. Apart from being the center of exalted rituals, it was also a place of healing, where ordinary people came to have their ailments tended to. If you look closely, you may still be able to find their graffiti scratched into the inside of the remains of the outer wall of the complex.
The unprepossessing town of Kom Ombo, which is about 4km (2 1/2 miles) from the temple, is about 40km (25 miles) from Aswan to the south and 175km (110 miles) from Luxor to the north. If you're not arriving on a cruise boat, the next best way to be moving is by private car. Steer clear of eating or staying in town.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010
- South of Luxor
- Winter 7am-4pm; summer 7am-5pm
- No Sweat
- User Rating