Temples, with their grandeur and spiritual significance, have been an integral part of human civilization for millennia. These sacred structures not only serve as places of worship but also stand as testaments to the cultural and architectural prowess of ancient civilizations. In this article, we embark on a journey through time to uncover the top-10 oldest temples in the world, each carrying a rich tapestry of history, culture and spirituality.
List of Top-10 Oldest Temples in the World
Temple of Hatshepsut of Egypt stands as the oldest temple in the world which was built around 1,470 B.C., followed by Temple of Amada, Gobekli Temple and Luxor Temple.
Here is the list of top-10 oldest temples in the world:
|Oldest Temples in the World|
|S. No.||Oldest Temples||Location||Built in|
|1.||Temple of Hatshepsut||Egypt||1,470 B.C.|
|2.||Temple of Amada||Nubia||Between 1,550 and 1,189 B.C.|
|3.||Gobekli Temple||Turkey||10,000 B.C.|
|4.||Luxor Temple||Egypt||1,100 and 1,600 B.C.|
|5.||Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni||Malta||2,500 B.C.|
|7.||Ggantija Temples||Malta||Between 3,600 and 3,200 B.C.|
|8.||Temple of Apollo||Delphi||330 B.C.|
|9.||Tchogha Zanbil||Iran||1,250 B.C.|
|10.||Ziggurat of Ur||Iraq||21st century B.C.|
Oldest Temple in the World – Temple of Hatshepsut
Build around 1,470 B.C., the funerary shrine, also known as Djeser-Djeseru, in Egypt was crafted by Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s architect Senenmut. Recognizable for its colonnade and terraces, the site features a well-preserved relief depicting the divine birth of a female pharaoh. Despite theft and destruction, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Herbert E. Winlock led a restoration from 1923 to 1931 after the first large-scale excavation in the 1890s.
Second Oldest Temple in the World- Temple of Amada
The second oldest temple in the world and the oldest temple of Nubia, build during the 18th and 19th Dynasties (1550-1189 B.C.) was relocated in the 1960s and 1970s to higher ground near Lake Nasser to avoid flooding. Led by French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, the move preserved its well-preserved relief and inscriptions detailing military triumphs of Pharaohs Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II.
Third Oldest Temple in the World – Gobekli Temple
Gobekli Turkey, constructed around 10,000 B.C. in southeastern Turkey, is the world’s third oldest temple, predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years. Initially mistaken as a medieval grave, it was rediscovered by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt in 2008. Buried internationally around 8,000 B.C., the site’s preservation facilitates ongoing study.
Luxor Temple, built between 1100 and 1600 B.C., is an ancient Egyptian marvel which boasts an avenue of sphinxes and the imposing Pylon of Ramses II. Encompassing the reigns of Amenhotep III, Ramses II and Tutankhamen, it is the largest and most significant site dedicated to Amun, Mut and Khonsu.
Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni
Constructed around 2500 B.C. in Malta, the Hypogeum is a unique underground temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring false windows, trilithon doorways, red ocher paintings and carved-stone ceilings mimicking corbeled masonry. Discovered in 1902 and excavated since 1903, it closed for conservation from 1990 to 2000. Today, only 80 visitors per day can explore this ancient labyrinth.