This post was updated on October 19th, 2018
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It’s a cloudy day in Dublin (that’s pretty common here), and I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the trip I took to sunny Madrid. There’s a lot there from that trip that I haven’t written about yet, including my visit to the Debod Temple.
The Debod Temple (or Temple de Debod in Spanish) is a legitimate, real Egyptian temple in the heart of Madrid, Spain. It’s the only authentic Egyptian temple you can find outside of Egyptian. The Temple was initially located in the Aswan region of Egypt and was built back in 200 BC. The Kushite King of Meroë made it as a small temple for the Egyptian god Amun.
Fast forward many years later (uh to 1960 AD) when Egypt was building the Aswan High Dam. The reservoir was threatening to flood and cause damage to The Abu Simbel Temples, which are some of Egypt’s most magnificent temples. Long story short Spain stepped up and helped Egypt moves the Abu Simbel Temples to a safe location. Afterwards, Egypt was like, “hey thanks for that. Have a temple.”
The Temple in Madrid
So that’s what they did, Egypt gave Spain the Debod Temple. It is now located in the Western Park (Parque del Oeste) by The Royal Palace (Palace Real de Madrid). The Temple is free to visit and inside contains small collections of Egyptian artifacts including some hieroglyphics with information cards in Spanish and English. It takes about 10-15 minutes to go through the temple.
I came to the Debod Temple on my last morning in Madrid. I haven’t been to Egypt yet, so it was pretty cool to see a real Egyptian temple in person. Apparently, the Temple Debod is also one of the best places to watch the sunset in Madrid. Looks like a good reason to go back to Madrid again.
Things You Should Know
The Temple Debod is at Calle Ferraz 1 in Madrid. Map link here. The closest metro stop is the Plaza de España (Lines 3 or 10). A single trip on the metro will cost between €1.50 and €3 unless you’re coming from the airport in which case a single ticket is €6. From Plaza de España station it’s about a 10-minute walk to the Temple Debod.
The Temple is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. It is closed every Monday and on January 1 and 6, May 1, and December 25. On the days the Temple Debod is closed you can’t go inside, but you can still see it from the outside. The temple is free to visit, but there is a limit of 30 people who can go in at once.
While in Madrid I stayed at the Huespedes Dolcevita Hostel in a single private room with a balcony. There was a shared bathroom, free breakfast, and free WiFi. The hostel was in the LGBT friendly Chueca neighbourhood and was a 5-minute walk to the Chueca Metro station. If you’re looking for a private room in Madrid at a decent price (I paid about $25 for my room/night when I stayed), I highly recommend this hostel. You can book a room here.
Have you visited an Egyptian temple before?