The Temple of Kom Ombo can be seen from a distance. It is situated on top
of a hillock, on the ancient site of Ombos, which was occupied from
prehistoric times. The elevated position of the temple offers a splendid
view (from the terrace, facing away from the sanctuary) of the modern
village of Kom Ombo, which lies to the east, opposite the island of
Mansuria on a bend in the Nile.
The great temple has some impressive ruins. When it was abandoned by the
priests, it was engulfed by sand (the color of the stone is an indication
of the level of sand on the inside). The Copts who inhabited it destroyed
some of the reliefs, before the edifice was used as a quarry. Finally the
Nile completed its destruction by eroding part of the temple's ancient
terrace. In spite of the ravages of time and mankind, it is difficult to
remain indifferent to the beauty of the site.
The northern section is dedicated to the falcon-god Harwer,
or "Horus the Elder", and the southern section to the crocodile-god
Sobek. The two gods are accompanied by their "families": Harwer's wife
Tesentnefert ("the Good Sister") and son Panebtawy ("Lord of the Two
Lands") and Sobek's consort Hathor and son Khonsu, although the two triads
often tend to merge and combine in an extremely complex theology.
The overall layout is that of a divine temple during the Ptolemaic period.