The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is located beneath the cliffs at Deir el Bahari on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Designed by the architect Senemut, the mortuary temple is dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra and is located next to the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, which served both as an inspiration, and later, a quarry.
Although the adjacent, earlier mortuary temple of Mentuhotep was used as a model, the two structures are nevertheless significantly different in many ways. Hatshepsut’s temple employs a lengthy, colonnaded terrace that deviates from the centralised structure of Mentuhotep’s model – an anomaly that may be caused by the decentralized location of her burial chamber.
There are three layered terraces reaching 97 ft. Each ‘story’ is articulated by a double colonnade of square piers, with the exception of the northwest corner of the central terrace, which employs Proto Doric columns to house the chapel. These terraces are connected by long ramps which were once surrounded by gardens. The layering of Hatshepsut’s temple corresponds with the classical Theban form, employing pylons, courts, hypostyle hall, sun court, chapel and sanctuary.
Photo Credit: Mikael