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The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

The site of the Temple of Hatshepsut is a place where colors merge in one of the most graceful views one can ever see over the Nile: the yellow of the desert , the green of the valley and the blue of the Nile all join together in one of the most impressive portrays .

With its terraces , the temple itself is one of the most distinctive photos included in many tourist brochures about Egypt. While part of the temple was excavated in the rocks , the other was built in terrace . With the mountain and the temple perfectly united , the latter grants the viewer marvelously charming and harmonic scenes .

The temple was almost completely destructed since the reign of Thutmosis III and Akhenaten till the eighteenth century . In 1920 , the temple was cleaned .

The architect , who designed the temple and was believed to be the beloved confident of Hatshepsut at the same time , is Senenmut . Designing his masterpiece , he preferred not to apply the model of the temples of the Empire , but in fact , he copied and bettered the style of the neighboring temple of the Middle Kingdom , that of the King Montu-Hotep Neb-Hebet-Ra of the Eleventh Dynasty . Senenmut built the temple in the same axial line as the Temple of Amen at Karnak .

Probably , it was not a coincidence that the Tomb of Hatshepsut was dug in the Valley of the Kings , almost exactly behind the temple . If her tomb had been dug along a straight axis , as some believe was the original idea , its Burial Chamber could have lain directly beneath the temple . But the poor quality of the bedrock forced workmen to follow a corkscrew-like course in a vain search for better stone , and the burial chamber was finally located deeper and to the southwest .

The temple's name was 'Djeser-djeseru' or 'the Most Holy of Holies' . It had a causeway connecting it with a canal that connected it to the Nile and in front of it there was also a sphinx road with red granite statues of more than 3 meters long each . Before each of twenty-four pillars of each terrace , an Osiride-form statue of Hatshepsut was placed .

During the seventh century , a Coptic monastery was built in the upper terrace of the temple and it became one of the largest monasteries in Upper Egypt and survived until the beginning of the 20th century when it was dismantled by the Egyptologists . This is why the temple is called 'Deir-El-Bahari' (or 'North Monastery') and its upper terrace is completely destroyed .