Temple of Debod

It is an Egyptian temple of the second century a. d. C. installed in the Park of the Cuartel de la Montaña, near the Plaza de España. The temple was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to prevent it from being flooded after the construction of the great Aswan Dam. The construction of the temple began at the beginning of the second century BC. C. the king of Meroe Adijalamani, who dedicated a chapel to the gods Amun and Isis. The chapel is decorated with reliefs. Later kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty built new rooms around the original core. After the annexation of Egypt to the Roman Empire, the emperors Augustus, Tiberius and, perhaps, Hadrian, completed the construction and decoration of the building.

In the 6th century, after the conversion of Nubia to Christianity, the temple was closed and abandoned. In the 20th century, due to the construction of the dam, the Egyptian government donated it to the city of Madrid and it was transported, rebuilt stone by stone and opened to the public in its current location in 1972. The reconstruction that was done in Madrid maintained the orientation of its place of origin, that is, from east to west. In order to understand the meaning of the location of the building, its decorative motifs and learn about its history, models, videos and audiovisual projections are exhibited on the walls.

The temple and the gardens that surround it are located on the site where the Cuartel de la Montaña was located, a military building built between 1860 and 1863 on what is known as Montaña de Príncipe Pío, a place where, previously, Napoleon’s French troops The rebels of the uprising of May 2, 1808 were shot, a scene portrayed in Goya’s famous painting El 3 de mayo en Madrid or Los fusilamientos. It was also the scene, a century later, of the military uprising of July 1936, which would give rise to the Spanish Civil War. During the war, the barracks were practically destroyed and later demolished.

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