The Debod Temple, Madrid

Many people are surprised to learn that there is an authentic Egyptian temple dating from the 2nd Century BC in the middle of Madrid and dedicated to the gods Amon and Isis. So what's it doing here?

Madrid's Templo de Debod

Well, due to the construction of the Aswan Dam in 1960, many valuable monuments and archaeological sites were in danger of being destroyed. The UNESCO made an appeal to countries to help save these monuments, and as thanks for the aid given by Spain, particularly in helping to save the sacred buildings of Abu Simbel, the Egyptian government donated this temple to the Spanish people in 1968.

The temple originally stood in Debod in the Nile Valley not too far from the city of Aswan, but the need for the new dam meant that it had to be moved elsewhere or it would have remained underwater forever.

So it was dismantled stone by stone in 1969 and shipped to the Spanish port city of Valencia, from where it was then taken by train to Madrid. That's where it was reconstructed and open to the public in 1972.

Lodging for tourists near the Templo de Debod:

Today it stands near Plaza de España, next to the Paseo del Pintor Rosales, with a surrounding park from where it is possible to admire the Guadarrama mountains and the Spanish capital's most outstanding sunset. Further below is an attractive rose garden, the Rosaleda.

Debod Temple

On the temple itself you may admire some carved reliefs, and upstairs in the museum there are photographs depicting the monument's history. The temple is laid out in the same way as it was orientated in Egypt, from east to west.

This site is also historical, as it was the location of the former Montaña barracks, which were stormed by the populace during the Civil War in 1936.

Practical Information:

Address: Ferraz, 1 28008 Madrid, Parque del Cuartel de la MontaƱa
Telephone: +34 91 366 74 15
Buses: 74
Metro: Plaza de España
Opening times: Tuesday to Friday, 1 April to 30 September: 10am to 2pm and 6-8pm. 1 October to 31 March: 9:45am to 1:45pm and 4:15-6:15pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 2pm. Closed Mondays and public holidays.
Admission: free (obtain free access together with all the major museums, using the Madrid Tourist Card)
Guided tours: every Saturday 11:30-12:30 with prior reservation