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Deir al-Haggar/Egypt

Introducing Deir al-Haggar

This restored sandstone temple is one of the most complete Roman monuments in Dakhla – which is saying something, but not that much. Dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khons, as well as Horus (who can be seen with a falcon’s head), it was built between the reigns of Nero (AD 54–68) and Domitian (AD 81–96). Some relief panels are quite well preserved, many are missing, and most of those in the inner sanctuary are covered in bird poop. If you look carefully in the adjacent Porch of Titus you can see the names of the entire team of Gerhard Rohlfs, the 19th-century desert explorer, carved into the wall. Also visible are the names of famous desert travellers Edmonstone, Drovetti and Houghton.

Deir al-Haggar is signposted about 7km west of Al-Qasr; from the turn-off it’s another 5km to the temple.