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Temple of Debod

June 4th 2014
  • It’s not often you stumble upon a 4th Century Egyptian temple on your casual park wander, but residents of Madrid have been able to do so since 1972. Given to them as a show of appreciation for helping to save Abu Simbel from flooding during the building of the Aswan Dam, the temple was de-constructed, transported and rebuilt in Parque de la Montaña – a smaller part of the bigger Parque Del Oeste.

    Built as a tribute to the great gods Amun and Isis, the monoliths were placed in what was thought to be their original order when transported to Madrid; but subsequent photos have proven their positions to be wrong. The more keen eyed among you may be able to spot the serpent-topped gateway that ended up giving the game away.

    While the stones are a fantastic and rather eccentric site to pay a visit to during the day – being, as they are, completely unique to Spain and one of only a handful of comparable points of interest outside Egypt itself – it is at night when the location truly comes into its own. Pack a picnic hamper full of locally bought tapas and set up shop on the soft green grass surrounding the monument. Relax, imbibe and as the sun goes down and the soft lights cast enigmatic shadows across the columns, you can cast your mind back to ancient times and lift a glass to the gods.

Image credit: Javier Medina

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