Discovering the history behind the mysterious Temple of Debod.
On the 1st December I was in Madrid after a trip from Tel Aviv. To break up the travelling I planned 24 hours in the Spanish capital.
Wandering around the Plaza España and Palacio Reial was a great way to recharge the batteries after 10 days away. I´d already seen the Temple of Debod a while back but didnt have much time there. On this recent trip I wanted to revisit this Ancient Egyptian temple.
Temple of Debod
As I love historic sites and culture a trip to Egypt is probably something I should consider when I can. Tours with Encounters travel showing the main sites would be something to add to my bucket list and they include Aswan too. But in the meantime I´ll make do with this monument close to the Plaza de España. When you get to the park, Parque del Cuartel de la Montaña it also has some stunning panoramic views of Madrid and across to the Palace. It´s not just the Temple of Debod there.
This impressive monument was brought to Madrid in 1968 as a gift from the Egyptian state. Spain had helped to save historical sites such as the Abu Simbel temples and other archaeological sites during the construction of the Aswan dam. If they hadn´t been transferred they would have been underwater now in part of the resevoir built in that area.
In 1898 Whilst still located on its original site part of this monument collapsed. This four columned structure stood close to the entrance of the chapel, more delicate in structure this was sadly removed from the site. However this incident helped to raise awareness of the problems of conservation of these ancient buildings in Aswan. Just 70 years after this damage the temple was given to Spain.
This was opened to the public in Madrid in 1972. Since then it can be visited for free in small groups of people. The queue outside often looks long but it moves quickly as the inside doesn´t take long to visit at all.
Inside the temple there are carvings in the stone walls of different eygptian gods and symbolic offerings to them. This small chapel was dedicated to the God Amun. It was later extended and dedicated to Isis of Philae. Built in 200 BC it really is privilege to visit this site, the only one of its kind in Spain. Very few Ancient Eygtian temples can be seen outside of Egypt.
The visit takes less than 30 mins to do but I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Madrid. If you love photography Sunset at this site is magical.
Temple of Debod – Useful information
Address: Calle Ferraz 1, Madrid 28008
Website> Templo de Debod
Closest Metro stop: Plaza de España (L2, L3, L10)
- 1st October to 31st March
- Tues- Fri 10am- 2pm 4pm-6pm
- Sat, Sun and Bank holidays 9.30am-8pm
- 1st April to 30th September
- Tues- Fri 10am- 2pm 6pm-8pm
- Closed on Mondays and on 1st, 6th January, 1st May and 25th December.