1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Ancient Egyptian Architecture: Temple of Karnak

(Part 13)

Ancient Egyptian Architecture (cont.)

Temple of Karnak

The temple at Edfoo [Edfu], though its dimensions are considerable, is small when compared with that at Karnak. This covers about 420,000 feet, or five times as much as St Paul’s, London, and more than twice as much as St Peter’s at Rome. The propylon is 370 feet long, or twice as much as that of St Paul’s. the hypostyle hall, (FOOTNOTE 390-1) a parallelogram of about 342 feet long, and 170 feet wide., is the most wonderful apartment in the world. It has fourteen rows and columns, nine in each row, and 43 feet high; and two rows, six in each, of the enormous height of 62 feet, 11 feet 6 inches in diameter, and carrying capitals which measure 22 feet across. This hall (with the two gigantic pylons) is said to cover 4000 superficial feet more than St Paul’s. beyond it is the adytum or shine, a small apartment, measuring only 26 feet by 16 feet.

In many cases the temples want the peribolus and propylaea, the edifice consisting of no more than the pronaos and the parts beyond it. In others, particularly in those of Thebes, this arrangement is doubles, an there are two pairs of the colossal moles, and another open courts is formed by a covered avenue of columns as much larger sized than ordinary; and the galleries around are of double rows of column instead of one row with the walls. The obelisks indicated in the plan and section of Edfoo [Edfu] (Plate VII), before the propylaea, occupy the situation in which they are generally found, though in this case there are none. Colossal seated figures are sometimes found before the piers of the gateway; and from them, as a base, a long avenue of sphinxes is frequently found ranged like an alley or avenue of tress from a mansion to the park gate, straight or winding, as the case may require.


(390-1) So called by Diodorus Siculus, because the middle ranges of columns, with the roof, etc., are higher than the side parts, and admit light by a range of windows opening over the side roofs, something like the clerestories of our cathedrals

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