Temple of the Oracle

Siwa Oasis

The 26th-dynasty Temple of the Oracle sits in the northwest corner of the ruins of Aghurmi village. Built in the 6th century BC, probably on top of an earlier temple, it was dedicated to Amun (occasionally referred to as Zeus or Jupiter Ammon) and was a powerful symbol of the town’s wealth. It is believed Alexander the Great was declared son of Amun in this temple.

There are many stories about the foundation of the temple. One tells of two priestesses who were banished from Thebes to the desert. One founded the Temple of Dodona in Greece, the other the Temple of the Oracle here in Aghurmi. One of the most revered oracles in the ancient Mediterranean, its power was such that some rulers sought its advice while others sent armies to destroy it. Although treasure hunters have been at work here and the buttressed temple was poorly restored in the 1970s, it remains an evocative site, steeped in history. Surrounded by the ruins of Aghurmi, it has awesome views over the Siwan oasis palm-tops.

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