Temple of Hathor at Dendera was built in the 1st century B.C through Roman times. Hathor temple was dedicated to the wife of the god Horus “goddess Hathor”, whose name (literally Hathor) means 'the dwelling of Horus", and she is often shown as a sacred cow or as a woman wearing horns. Built in granite, as were most of the Ptolemaic temples, what we see today is actually the reconstruction of a much older pre existing temple which probably dated to Khufu and Pepi I. 

 

The temple consists of a splendid hypostyle hall, which opens onto a plaza, 25 by, 42.5 meters and 18 meters high, with twenty-four Hathor columns, that is columns with a cubic capital decorated with the face of the goddess. 

 

A small shrine also stood within the temple. Called the "chapel of sanctity" it was the most hidden and secret spot in the sanctuary. This was where the mysteries of the birth of the cosmic order from primordial chaos were celebrated. But Hathor was also the patron goddess of dance and music, as well as being the cosmic divinity. Every year in Dendera, on the twentieth day of the first month of the inundation season, the popular 'Festival of Drunkenness' was celebrated. 

 

Two other monuments worthy of attention are the mammisi or "birth houses' or 'temples of birth" meant to celebrate the birth of Horus. The oldest is that of Nectanebo I, cut about halfway on the western wall by the court in front of the temple of Hathor, completed in Ptolemaic times. The other one, dating to the time of Augustus, and decorated under Hadrian, is north of the court. A 5th-century Coptic church is set between the two mammisi.