Qasr Qarun, an Arabic word means – the Palace of Qarun. This is a well -preserved Ptolemaic temple, about 65 kilometers from fayoum city, in the north western corner of the province.
(palace of qarun is a misnomer) is known to be Ptolemaic temple (323 -30 BC) but has not been dated more precisely due to the absence of inscriptions. Built of blocks of yellow limestone, it is substantially complete, although the exterior has been partially restored by the Antiquities Department, and parts of the internal structure have been reinforced. it appears small from the outside , but inside is a veritable maze of chambers , corridors , cellars , tunnels , stairways , upper rooms , of all sizes at different levels , and numerous nooks and crannies , making it a fascinating place to explore . There are no inscriptions, but over the entrance flies the winged sun, and on the roof (reached by either of two square spiral staircases) is a relief of two figures: the crocodile god sobek on the left, a king on the right.
there is a good view from the roof , of the desert to south and west , the cultivated land to the north and east , and the desert escarpment and ( sometimes , depending on the light ) the Birka to the north
Around the temple are the ruins of Dionysias , a Greco – roman town and garrison , but the mostly mud – brick remains are not as well preserved as other ancient towns in the fayoum . The town is thought to due to from the third century BCE and was probably abandoned in the fourth century CE. Roman baths are a mere outline on the ground as are most of the houses , but a few still Sand, at least partially. Some even have fresco decorations on the Interior walls. The most notable of these is located just east of The Roman fortress. Baths with frescoes were discovered here in 1948 but they have gone by erosion (Dunn, 2005).
Qasr Qarun Sun Festival
The temple is observed on the 21st Of December, the date that marks the Winter Solstice . On this day, shafts of sunlight enter into the temple of Qasr Qaroun and illuminate the holy of the holies of the temple where statues of the god Sobek were placed and worshipped . As the temple remains in absolute darkness through out the year and receives sunlight on this special day, the rare phenomenon is a scene that you just cannot afford to miss.
How to reach it
Take a service taxi from Cairo or from fayoum to Ibshaway then a second service taxi from there to the village of qarun.
Entrance Fees :
|Site||Foreigners||Foreign Student||Egyptians||Egyptian Student|
|Qaroun Temple||40 EGP||25 EGP||5 EGP||3 EGP|