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El Lessiya - Fereyg Temple



El Lessiya is a small temple cut into the rock at the time of Tuthmosis III, in honor of the local Nubian falcon god Dedwen (Dedoun), considered by the Egyptians to be a form of Horus. Dedwen is provider of incense, among other atributes.

The temple of El Lessiya was flooded by the first Aswan Dam, built in 1902. All the colors were lost and many of the wall reliefs were damaged. In the 1960's, as part of the international rescue of Nubian monuments, El Lessiya was cut from the rock and re-assembled in the Egyptian Museum of Turin Italy, a gift in recognition of the assistance furnished by the Italians in the rescue of Nubian monuments.


Pharaoh brings offerings to the gods at el Lessiya temple.
Art from el Lessiya Temple
by Ernst Weidenbach, 1842 - 1845.


Excerpt from: Travels in Nubia by John Lewis Burckhardt

A Journey along the Banks of the Nile
Published in 1819. Adapted for AscendingPassage.com, 2006.


CHAPTER VI -- el Lessiya - Fereyg
March 5th, 1813.
In half an hour camel's ride we arrived at the Akabe of Fereyg, or the place where the mountain separates that Wady from its southern neighbor. I sent my guide, with the camels, over the mountain; and following a narrow foot-path along the almost perpendicular shore, I arrived; at one hour's distance from Fereyg, at an ancient temple hewn out of the rocky side of the mountain; no other road leads up to it but this dangerous foot-path, neither are there any traces of an ancient road. I entered through a high narrow gateway into a small Egyptian temple, cut entirely out of the rock, and in as perfect a state of preservation, as when first finished.

Pharaoh brings offerings to the gods and is comforted by them at el Lessiya temple.
More art from el Lessiya Temple by Ernst Weidenbach, 1842 - 1845.


It consists of a cella, ten paces in length and seven in breadth, and about twelve feet high. Within it are four columns, with Egyptian capitals. On either side of the cella is an apartment which receives light only by the entrance from the cella. Low stone benches run along the walls of the cella, a peculiarity which I had not seen in any other Egyptian temple. There is an ascent by three low steps from the cella into the adytum, in which is a deep sepulchral excavation; there is also a similar but smaller one in the cella itself. The walls both of the cella and adytum are covered with mystic sculptures in the usual style, but there are none in the two side chambers. The Greeks had converted this temple into a church, and had plastered the walls white, to receive their paintings, many of which still remain; a St. George killing the dragon is particularly conspicuous.

Hieroglyphs at el Lessiya temple, by Ernst Weidenbach.


At the end of three hours we passed, in the sandy plain, a number of tumuli, or barrows, of various sizes, covered with sand; I counted about twenty-five within the circuit of a mile and a half: the regularity of their shape, which is exactly the same as that of the tumuli in the Syrian deserts, and the plain of Troy, makes it almost certain, that they are artificial.


wings of the Sun.

El Lessiya - al Fereyg Temple
excerpt from: Travels in Nubia

by John Lewis Burckhardt, published in 1819



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