Abydos is an archeologically very important ancient city in Egypt. It is one of Egypt's oldest capital cities and is around 7,000 years old. Currently, it is home to the world's oldest known brewery and has so many secrets left to reveal. Unfortunately, much of the ancient city is buried and destroyed under new developments of a neighboring Egyptian city.

One of the main attractions for tourists there is the impressive Temple of Seit I. While everyone should visit the Abu Simbel rock-cut temples and the world-famous temples of Luxor, the Temple of Seti I should equally be on one's bucket list.


What To Know About The Temple of Seti I

The Temple of Seti I (or Great Temple of Abydos) was built by Pharaoh Seti I - the father of the most famous Pharaoh - Ramesses II. It was Ramesses II who finished the construction of the temple after the death of this father. Among other things, the temple is famous for the Abydos graffiti. This graffiti is ancient Phoenician and Aramaic graffiti found on the temple walls.

  • Dedicated: The Temple Was Dedicated to Seti I, Osiris, Isis, Ptah, And Other Gods
  • Built: Started by Seti I and Finished By Pharaoh Ramesses II
  • Reign: Seti I Reigned From 1294 to 1279 BC)

With its fine white limestone, the temple is considered one of the most impressive temples in Egypt.

The facade of the Temple that one sees today was once the backdrop to the second of the two courtyards. Unfortunately, the first courtyard, along with its entrance pylon, has long since fallen into ruin.

The temple has seven great doorways and was dedicated to the six major gods – Osiris, Isis, Horus, Amun-Ra, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah – as well as the seven to the Pharaoh Seti I. There are many great columns in the temple that one's guide will explain in depth while there.

  • Shape: It Was Built In The Shape Of An "L"
  • Reservation: While In Ruins, It Is Still One Of The Most Complete Ancient Egyptian Temples Today

The temple was built in the shape of an "L" and used to have a quay, a ramp, a front terrace, two pylons, two courts, and pillared porticoes. It is unusual for Egyptian temples to be designed in an "L" shape - most were in a rectangular shape.

The huge tanks that were used for the absolution of the temple's priest remain visible. As with many temples, the ruins today, while impressive, are often in such a ruined state that it is hard to imagine the sheer size and beauty of the complex when it was first built.

Related: The UNESCO-Listed Luxor Temple Is An Essential Part Of Any Egypt Tour

The Depictions In the Temple of Seti I

"As you roam through Seti’s dark halls and sanctuaries, an air of mystery surrounds you."

Lonely Planet

In the temple is an image of Ramesses II worshipping his father (together with Osiris and Isis). Most of the decorations in the temple that were completed by Ramesses II are considered inferior to those done by Seti I.

Other depictions include Ramesses II (as a young boy) roping a bull with Seti I and a number of military scenes. In one hall, some of Ramesses II's decorations are placed over Seti I's decorations.

  • Artwork: The Reliefs Are Considered To Be Of The Highest Quality And Hark Back to The Best of The Old Kingdom Work
  • Abydos King List: An Almost Complete List of Pharaoh Names Carved On The Wall - Considered The Rosetta Stone of Egyptian Archaeology

The temple is believed to have been an attempt to revive the old ways of Egyptian religion after the Amarna 'heresy' only 50 years before. This was when Pharaoh Akhenaten broke with the tradition of Egyptian polytheism and centered worship around the god Aten - a monotheistic religion.

  • Amarna 'heresy': When Pharaoh Akhenaten Tried to Introduce A Monotheistic Religion To Egypt

The Great Temple of Seti I has seen an amount of restoration work and is today one of the most complete, unique, and beautiful temples in Egypt.

Related: Dazzling Aten: Egypt's 3,000 Year Old Lost City Just Discovered

Ramesses II - The Greatest Builder And The Pharaoh With A Passport

Ramesses II is known as the greatest builder in Egyptian history. During his long reign, he completed many of the most well-known Egyptian monuments - like the stunning Abu Simbel rock-cut temples. The four massive seated Pharaohs guarding the entrance are Ramesses II.

  • Ramesses II: The Greatest Egpytian Builder
  • Passport: Ramesses II's Mummy Needed An Egyptian Passport To Travel To France

One of the strangest pieces of trivia about Ramesses II is that his mummy was showing signs of decay and so needed to be taken to France for preservation work. In order for the corpse to be flown to France, Ramesses II needed an Egyptian passport to travel... No words...

Next: Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Egypt's Mystical Valley Of The kings