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The Temple of Soleb



Built just south of the Third Nile Cataract, by Pharaoh Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty) in honor of the god Amun-Re and to Nebmaatre - which was simply another name for Pharaoh Amenhotep as the lord of Nubia, Soleb (Sulb) temple was over 400 feet long, and the entire enclosure was about 700 by 800 feet. Today foundations and a few columns remain. Two red granite lions from Soleb are now in the British Museum.


A mound of rubble, some dramatic standing columns and a single crossbeam stand at Soleb.
Soleb, lithograph by Ernst Weidenbach, 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 IX -- The Temple of Soleb
March 15th, 1813.

Instead of proceeding across the desert to Waouy, we followed the river; in one hour and a half from the place where we slept we arrived opposite to Soleb, a fine village on the west bank. There I saw the ruins of a large temple which it had been my intention to visit, after crossing the river at Tinareh.

Some papyrus columns and pieces of wall are all that remain of the Temple of Soleb.
The ruins of Soleb,
by Francis Firth, c.1862


I offered some peasants, who were watering the fields upon an island opposite Soleb, all the Dhourra (grain) remaining in my provision sack, to carry me over and back again, which, I think, was as much as offering a guinea for a similar service to a London waterman; but there was no Ramous boat, nor any of those goat-skins which when inflated often serve as a conveyance on the Nile; and as I did not think it prudent to trust to my arms only in swimming over, I was obliged pursue my route without gratifying my curiosity. The temple appeared to have been of the size of the largest of those found in Egypt; the body of it seemed to be entire, with ten or twelve large pillars of the pronaos.

the Temple of Soleb.
The columns at Soleb,
by Francis Firth, c.1862


I hope some other traveler will be more fortunate than myself in being able to examine this ruin, which I believe to be the most southern specimen of Egyptian architecture; for I was credibly informed that no ancient buildings whatever are to be found in the southern parts of Mahass or in Dóngola.
Which, of course, is not true, but it made him feel better.

Amenhotep III visits the god Amon-re the Temple of Soleb.
The god Amon-Re and
Pharaoh Amenhotep III at Soleb Temple.
by Ernst Weidenbach, 1842-5.



wings of the Sun.

The Temple at Soleb
excerpt from: Travels in Nubia

by John Lewis Burckhardt, published in 1819



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atlernating anks and djeds and below a line of warriors at the Temple of Soleb.
art at Soleb Temple.
by Ernst Weidenbach, 1842-5.

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