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Kom Ombo

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Twin temple

Kom Ombo

Kom Ombo used to be an important caravan town - it was here that the 40 days caravans from Sudan or Nubia met the caravans carrying gold from the mines in the eastern desert. In Ptolemaic times (from the 3rd century BCE until early 1st century CE) Kom Ombo was the training ground for army elephants. Today only a small town remains, noted for its sugar production and the many Nubians who settled here after their villages were inundated by the Aswan High Dam in the 1960's.

Kom Ombo

The temple of Kom Ombo is unique in one respect: it is dedicated to two gods, and the entire temple holds two perfectly symmetrical sections. The sanctuary to the left is dedicated to the falcon-headed sky god Harwer (also written Haroeris), or Horus the elder and his family.
The one to the left is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god, also worshipped in Fayyum.
The temple was started to be built as late as 2nd century BCE by Ptolemy 13, also known as Neos Dyonysos. The original front, erected by the command of Augustus after 30 BCE, has been lost to the erosions of the Nile or pillaged by stonemasons. All that is left of the pylon are a few of the foundations. But nature has also protected the temple, as the parts covered were hidden for Coptic Christians of earlier times out to clean pre-Christian elements from Egyptian history.
To the south lies the Chapel of Hathor, where mummified crocodiles used to be stored. Four of these are still on display.

Eat and Sleep
There are a couple of hotels in town. Not much but quite OK for one night's stay.
Eating is best done from the standard food stalls in town.

There are good connections with Aswan by minibuses and service taxis. Connections between Kom Ombo and Edfu are less frequent, but unless you try to travel late in the afternoon or evening, there should be no danger of long waits.
The best way of arriving at the temple complex is by boat, either a Nile cruiser or a felucca: The temple is beautifully located right beside the river.

Going Next
60 km north: Edfu
40 km south: Aswan

By Tore Kjeilen