Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Siwa Oasis - Part 6 : Aghourmy : The Oracle & the Broken Rock

This is the Sixth in a beautiful series of articles written by my friend Gabi Philips who has spent an extended period of time in Siwa.

Also Read
Part 1 : Transportation
Part 2 : Where to Stay
Part 3 : Where to Stay (contd)
Part 4 : Shali
Part 5 : Places to Visit

The Oracle Temple:
Siwa is historically famous for the Temple of the Oracle which 'Alexander the Great' traveled for almost 18 days in the desert to visit. No one knows what he was told there, but he conquered the world after that.

The Oracle Temple is located on a huge rock called "Aghourmy" about 3 kms to the East of the main square. Aghourmy rock is suffering old age and is almost broken (split into two halves) in the place beneath the temple, but some restoration work has been done to save the temple from collapsing.

Over the years, people started to build their houses on top of the Aghourmy rock and around the temple, but they are now in ruins. The restoration mission started by restoring the mosque first to gain the respect and cooperation of the locals.

In the rocks of the wall of the temple, there are traces of marine fossils.

Temple of "Um Eibeida":
Not far from the Oracle Temple, this temple was completely destroyed in 1898 by an officer who wanted to use the rocks as building material for a house. At that time, there was no awareness about archeological sites. However, the construction of the temple and the drawings on its walls was previously recorded by other travelers/explorers.

View more of Gabi's pictures on

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