The Temple of the Oracle at the Siwa Oasis

The Temple of the Oracle in Siwa, ©heartherontravels/Flickr

The Temple of the Oracle in Siwa, ©heartherontravels/Flickr

The Temple of Amun at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt is usually known as the Temple of the Oracle because of Tsar Alexander, who came there to consult the oracle before ordering the construction of the city of Alexandria. The temple is in ruins and its fate is questionable as the rock under the building is slowly sliding down.

To visit the Temple of the Oracle at the Siwa Oasis you have to climb a marked path in one side of the sliding rock. Besides the temple there you will see other ruined buildings as well including a mosque with and an old well.

The temple that will disappear one day

There might be many storage areas and subterranean passages that have never been truly excavated. As the rock is sliding down, the walls staying on the edge might disappear at any time. Because of this fact we don’t know the fact if there was a staircase at the entrance of the temple court, in the axis of the temple, which should have been very logical or that people has used the same path as visitors used today.

The Temple of the Oracle, ©heatheronhertravels/Flickr

The Temple of the Oracle, ©heatheronhertravels/Flickr

The architecture of the temple

The Temple of the Oracle has an eight meters high facade; therefore it can be seen easily. The temple was submitted to a reconstruction that aimed to transform it in a Greek temple with Doric half-columns at both sides of the entrance.

In the interior, the temple has to huge rooms and a sanctuary. On the lower level is also an entrance to a crypt and other three entrances from the same hall, the middle one leading to the sanctuary. The first entrance from these three is quite narrow and continues with a narrow corridor, an annex of which use we don’t know exactly. We can think about it as a storing area or as a place to assist in delivering the oracles.

Temple of the Oracle, ©Kent MacElwee/Flickr

Temple of the Oracle, ©Kent MacElwee/Flickr

The interior of the Temple of the Oracle is clean, with no inscriptions, except the two side walls of the sanctuary. In the sanctuary are also figures of great personalities as King Amasis and eight deities including Amun.

The roof is badly damaged but we can assume that there was a chamber is the roof, or maybe more than one. There also was a staircase to the roof terrace that disappeared with the rock sliding down.

The Temple of the Oracle in Siwa, ©heartherontravels/Flickr

The Temple of the Oracle in Siwa, ©heartherontravels/Flickr

We still don’t know many things about the Temple of the Oracle in the Siwa Oasis as it has never been totally excavated. It might have other chambers under the surrounding debris. And if these works won’t be done soon, we will never know what existed here before, this falling down with the rock.

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