On my first trip to the continent of Africa, I visited Cairo and Luxor, Egypt in the middle of the summer. It was, as you can imagine, really, really hot. I mean, like 120 degrees Fahrenheit hot. This came with some advantages though — there were fewer crowds and shorter lines at the region’s most popular tourism sites, including the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.
The temple is dedicated to the popular deity Hathor, who is associated with merrymaking, love, music and drunkenness. How could you not love a goddess like that?
While the six Hathor-headed columns fronting the temple have been defaced, the interior of the structure is largely unblemished. One of the reasons why the temple is so well-preserved is that, unlike the temples of Karnak and Luxor, the Temple of Hathor’s ceiling is still intact, protecting the intricate carvings and colorful paintings within. Historians say that Hathor has the best preserved temple ceiling in all of Egypt, which has given them insight into ancient Egyptian traditions, astronomy and religious beliefs.