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Dendera Dendera Dendera

47 miles (75 kilometres) northeast of Luxor lies one of the best-preserved temple complexes in the whole of Egypt. The temple complex of Dendera is 47,839 square yards (40,000 square meters), or 9 acres, in size, bordered by an immense mudbrick enclosure wall. It was the site of many temples and shrines since Pre-Dynastic times, Pepi I built here in the 6th Dynasty and it is also known that an 18th Dynasty temple once stood here. However, the earliest building still standing there today is the Mammisi (a small chapel that is attached to a larger temple, and is associated with the birth of a god) of Nektanebo II; who was the last pharaoh of the 30th Dynasty and the last native ruler of Ancient Egypt.

There are many features, within the temple complex, and these include the following:

 •  The main temple: the Temple of Hathor
 •  The Temple of the Birth of Isis
 •  The Mammisi of Nektanebo II
 •  A Roman Mammisi
 •  The Gateways of Domitian and Trajan
 •  The Roman Kiosk
 •  A Christian Basilica
 •  A Bark Shrine
 •  A Sanatorium
 •  The Sacred Lake

In addition, a late Greco-Roman temple, that used to house the famous Dendera Zodiac, is to be found in the complex. The original sculptured zodiac was detached from the ceiling in 1820 and was relocated in the Louvre Museum in Paris (picture below), though artists employed by Napoleon took images of it, including the star signs of Taurus (the bull) and Libra (the scales).

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