Local Time: 28-09-2022 12:06:29 PM
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The Qasr Qarun Temple dates from the Greco-Roman period and is located on the southwestern edge of Lake Qarun. It is 65 kilometers from El Fayoum and 120 kilometers from Cairo.

The occurrence of the sun illuminating the temple on the morning of December 21st each year is a unique astronomical and architectural event when the sun also lights the Holy of Holies inside the temple, corresponding with the start of the winter solstice.

The History of Qasr Qarun

The History of Qasr Qarun
The History of Qasr Qarun

(The palace of Qarun is a misnomer) is a Ptolemaic temple (323-30 BC) that has not been exactly dated due to the lack of inscriptions. Built of yellow limestone blocks, it is mostly entire, however, the Antiquities Department has partially repaired the façade and strengthened portions of the internal structure. It seems little from the exterior, but within it is a true maze of chambers, hallways, cellars, tunnels, stairways, upper rooms of various sizes at various levels, and countless nooks and crannies, making it an intriguing location to explore. There are no inscriptions, but the winged sun hovers above the entrance, and on the ceiling (reachable by either of two square spiral staircases) is a relief of two figures: the crocodile deity Sobek on the left, and a monarch on the right.

The roof provides a good view of the desert to the south and west, the cultivated area to the north and east, and the desert escarpment and (depending on the light) the Birka to the north.

The ruins of Dionysias, a Greco-Roman town, and garrison, are located around the temple, although the largely mud–brick remnants are not as well preserved as those of other ancient settlements in the Fayoum. The settlement is estimated to have been founded in the third century BCE and was most likely abandoned in the fourth century CE. Most of the homes, including the Roman baths, are just outlines on the ground, but a few are still Sand, at least partially. Some even have frescoes on their interior walls. The most prominent is located approximately east of The Roman Fortress. Baths with frescoes were discovered here in 1948, but they have since been destroyed by weathering (Dunn, 2005).

The temple is observed on December 21st, the occasion of the Winter Solstice. On this day, beams of sunshine enter the Qasr Qaroun temple and illuminate the holiest of holies, where sculptures of the deity Sobek were erected and worshipped. The unusual phenomenon is a spectacle that you just cannot afford to miss because the temple remains completely black throughout the year and only receives sunshine on this unique day.

Explore Qasr Qaroun Temple with Hamada!

So that Fayoum guests can have the best Fayoum experience possible. Egypt Fun Tours’ creator, Mohamed a.k.a. Hamada, a local guide and researcher located in Cairo who studied in Fayoum for four years, will take you on tailored tours to explore magnificent Fayoum in several thematic itineraries to provide the ultimate Fayoum experience. He will share his expertise in the area as well as his fascinating Fayoum anecdotes with you.

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