/ The Madrid Guide
Madrid — By Nellie Huang on March 31, 2010 at 9:13 am
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Snap Shot Wednesday: Egyptian Debod Temple in Madrid

It is quite an intriguing sight: right in the palpitating heart of Madrid stands an ancient Egyptian temple, alongside skyscrapers and towering edifices, including the Plaza de España as featured in the photograph above.

The calm waters surrounding the temple clearly reflect the contrast between old and new, historical and modern and the stark difference between Egyptian and Spanish backgrounds.

Historical Background

The Debod Temple was originally built near Aswan, Southern Egypt, dedicated to the goddess of Philae in the 2nd century B.C. In 1960, the UNESCO called for an urgent request for help as the construction of a dam in Aswan threatened the existence of several monuments. The Spanish government reacted swiftly, contributing substantially to save the temples. To thank the country, Egypt delivered the Debod Temple to Spain as a gift in 1968.

It has since been decorated by Roman emperors and restored several times to keep it in top conditions. The Debod is still one fo the few ancient Egyptian works that can be found outside of Egypt.

Inside the Temple

Enter the temple into a different world and era: the first sight one gets upon entering is an impressive display of hieroglyphics. Figures of Egyptian pharaohs are also exhibited. Explanations of the hieroglyphics are available only in Spanish. The entire area is not too big, it only takes an hour maximum to see it. Photography is allowed, although using flash is not permitted. An extraordinary peek into the Egyptian world, you’ll be foolish to miss it.

Where is it?

Today, the temple stands at a gorgeous lookout point that overlooks the Royal Palace of Madrid and its beautiful gardens of Parque de Rosales. For some of the best views in the city, wander through the temple to get to the lookout point. On weekends, this spot is especially popular among lovers, looking for a quiet slice of shade. By dusk, the red skies contrast with the golden glow of the temples, creating a rather atmospheric surroundings.

Address: Jardines del Templo de Debod, Calle Ferraz 1, Madrid 28008

Location: Templo de Debod

Official website: www.munimadrid.es

Entry fee: Free; mandatory reservations for groups

Opening hours:

(1Oct – 31March) Monday to Friday 9.45am – 1.45pm and 4.15 – 6.15pm; Saturday/Sunday and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

(1April – 30Sept) Tuesday to Friday 10am – 2pm and 6 – 8pm; Saturday/Sunday and Public Holidays 10am – 2pm.

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Common by J.A. Alcaide

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  • induspride says:

    Seriously nice photography! Who would have expected an Egyptian temple in Spain?

  • Nellie Huang says:

    Yes excellent shot, isn’t it? There are so many surprises that Spain springs on you, be sure to check out the temple the next time you visit!

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