Why the Temple of Debod is in Madrid

Since 1972, Madrid has housed, next to the Parque del Pintor Rosales in the Parque del Oeste, just west of the Plaza de España, a small legacy of ancient Egypt. Its about Temple of Debod, a gift from this country to Spain after UNESCO’s call to save the temples of Nubia, due to the construction of the Aswan Dam. Our country heeded this claim and Egypt granted it this privilege. Since then, Madrilenians can enjoy a small piece of this region by entering its interior.

In honor of Amun and Isis

The original temple was located in a region called Debod on the banks of the River Nile, in lower Nubia. His construction It started in the 3rd century BC., by order of the Nubian king Adijalamani of Meroe, who raised a chapel in honor of the gods Amun and Isis. Later, various kings of the Ptolemaic Dynasty They created new rooms around the original nucleus and gave it the aspect with which we know it today. During the time of the Roman EmpireSome of its emperors were in charge of finishing it and decorating the building.

In 1907 a part of the Asuan Dam was built (called low dam), which greatly affected the temple, as the large one remained under water for about nine months of the year.

Later, in 1967 it was decided to expand the dam already built, and the Egyptian Antiquities Service together with a team from the Polish Archaeological Mission were in charge of dismantling it so that their stones will finally be deposited in Alexandria. Spain did not participate directly in this dismantling, but in 1960 it was created a rescue group for the monuments of Nubia, who expressly collaborated in the excavation of the Nubian deposits in Egypt and Sudan.

In Madrid

Finally, after a series of complex negotiations, the remains of the temple reached our country. First to Valencia, and then transferred in trucks were stored in the solar Cuartel de la Montaña in Madrid, in 1970.

The reconstruction process lasted two years until it was finally inaugurated in July 1972 by the then mayor of Madrid, Carlos Arias Navarro.

At the moment the Temple of Debod can be visited for free. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays, uninterrupted from 10 am to 8 pm. The best time to see it is at sunset, due to the play of light and shadow that is drawn around the building at this time of day.