Snapshots of Madrid - The Temple of Debod
Dashing around a city as frenetic as Madrid it's hard for something or other not to catch your attention. The Spanish capital is full of so much light and energy I often find myself stopping to take a photo or two. So, I'll share a few pictures as regularly as I can. I'll also include some well-known and not so well-known facts about the places I've snapped. There's always something new to learn about this amazing city...
(All photos taken with my iPhone6)
Templo de Debod - Paseo del Pintor Rosales
Technically this must be Madrid’s oldest building. Well, kind of.
The Temple of Debod actually began its life in Egypt, dating back to 2200 BC and took many centuries to be completed.
The temple was dedicated to the god Amon of Thebes, and lay about 20km south of Philae in the Nubian desert of southern Egypt. According to some authors of myth and legend, the goddess Isis gave birth to Horus in this very temple.
How did it end up in Madrid?
Let’s fast-forward to 1960. Due to the construction of Egypt’s Great Dam of Aswan and the consequent threat posed to several monuments and archeological sites, UNESCO made an international call to save this rich historical legacy.
In 1968 the temple was sent block by block to Spain as a gesture of thanks to Spanish archaeologists in the UNESCO team that worked to save the monuments that would otherwise have disappeared forever.
The temple was reconstructed in the Parque de la Montaña (Mountain Park) - an extension of the larger Parque del Oeste - at the site of a former army barracks, near the Plaza de España. The temple opened in 1972.
Originally, only high priests were allowed to enter the chamber. Today, it is open to all visitors.