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Top 10 Most Ancient Temples In The World

by Ruchi Jaiswal
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Humans have been trying to figure out their surroundings ever since we first emerged from the caves. The stars and gods were useful in reassuring humans when they lacked scientific knowledge. Many ancient cultures built enormous monuments to appease godlike figures they believed held all the keys to the universe. Are you interested in seeing some of the world’s oldest temples? Let us guide you through these mysterious structures.

Why Are Ancient Temples Built So Magnificently?

The king’s own grandiosity was reflected in the scale of these temples, which he personally oversaw their construction. There were two distinct mechanisms at play here. The first proof of the kingdom’s dominance in both financial resources and architectural design was the construction of huge temples. Therefore, great temples were built, such as the Brihadeshwara temple, to send a message to the “enemies” who were considering an attack on the Kingdom. Two, powerful rulers throughout history had a tendency for religious and devout devotion. Building temples to their “family God” was a deeply religious gesture that was supposed to bring blessings onto the monarch and his country. As the temple was being built, hundreds of local men and women were given the chance to help on the project.

1. Temple of Hatshepsut

The Temple of Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt dates back to circa 1,470 B.C. The Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut commissioned Senenmut, the royal architect, to build her a tomb. Its long colonnade and numerous terraces have earned it the alternative name of Djeser-Djeseru.A monastery was constructed atop the temple in the seventh century A.D.

Over the course of its long history, the site has suffered the loss or destruction of many of its priceless original sculptures and ornamentation. The relief representing the female pharaoh’s divine birth, however, has not been damaged. 

2. Temple of Amada

The Temples of Amada are without parallel in the annals of religious architecture. Between 1550 and 1189 B.C., this temple was first built on the eastern bank of the Nile. However, in the 1970s it was relocated to a higher position on Lake Nasser because of the frequent flooding. The French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches Noblecourt spearheaded this initiative.

This temple is well-known for its well-preserved relief and two important inscriptions that detail the achievements of Tuthmosis III and his son Amenhotep II, who commissioned the building of the temple.

3. Göbekli Tepe

The Gobekli Tepe is an amazing natural formation. It has been hypothesized that a spectacular stone temple was built on a mountaintop in southeastern Turkey 6,000 years before Stonehenge was built. For reasons that remain a mystery, the site was buried sometime about 8,000 B.C.In 2008, archaeologist Klaus Schmidt officially designated Gobekli Tepe as the oldest known temple in the world, putting an end to years of speculation.

4. Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni

The Hypogeum of ‘al-Saflieni is a subterranean temple in Malta that was constructed approximately 2,500 B.C. This massive underground maze has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The ceiling is accented with carved stone that looks like corbeled masonry, with faux windows and trilithon doors. Only eighty people a day are allowed to see this work of art, despite its beauty.

5. Stonehenge

Stonehenge, the most recognizable and intriguing landmark in the world, was built about the year 3,000 B.C.Stonehenge was likely constructed as a shrine to honor primordial earth spirits. This impressive engineering feat consists of a circular ditch with inner and outer banks. The bluestone temple was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its symmetrical design.

6. Ġgantija Temples

The Maltese term for “giant” is “gantija,” and local legend has it that a race of giants constructed the temple on Gozo. The temple was built out of coralline limestone between 3600 and 3200 B.C., and some of the stones used in its construction weigh more than 50 tons each. The inside of the sacred structure, ornamented with gentle globigerina limestone, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980. 

7. Temples of Apollo

Delphi was the epicenter of the ancient Greek world, and in 330 B.C., it was there that the Temple of Apollo was constructed. Two previous temples stood where this one was eventually constructed. This Doric temple on the periphery resembled the one that had been destroyed in the past in both design and appearance. Spintharus, Xenodoros, and Agathon are the architects in charge of the sacred structure. In 1987, Delphi was added to the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO.

8. Tchogha Zanbil

Untash-Gal, an Elamite king, established Tchogha Zanbil. Around 1,250 B.C., the sacred center of ancient Elam was constructed in present-day Iran. This sacred ancient city, now a part of the province of Khuzestan, is home to a ziggurat, temples, and three palaces. Tchogha Zanbil is home to the biggest and best-preserved ziggurat (or rectangular stepping tower) outside of Mesopotamia. In 1935, oil company prospectors stumbled onto the half-built edifice. Between 1946 and 1962, archaeologist Roman Ghirshman dug there.

9. Ziggurat of Ur

This Iraqi religious landmark dates back to the 2nd century BC. King Ur-Nammu commissioned its construction for the benefit of the deity Nanna. Some of the temple’s stairs and lower facade have been uncovered on the site, in addition to the foundation. Saddam Hussein rebuilt the area in the 1980s, making it off-limits to visitors.

10. Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos, located on the island of Crete, is the world’s largest and most well-known Minoan palace complex. This palace was built to the south of Heraklion between 1700 and 1400 B.C.. Everything at this location, from dwellings to reception halls to workplaces to shrines to storage rooms, is arranged around a central plaza. Knossos was destroyed by fire, but it doesn’t stop people from associating it with Theseus and the death of the Minotaur.


Tombs and temples for religious rituals were among the earliest buildings erected by ancient civilizations.

Over five thousand years ago, in the area that is now the island country of Malta, many of the world’s most ancient temples were constructed. Although these Malta temples are incredibly ancient, the world’s oldest temple is older than the earliest civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia by more than 6,000 years.

Nearly all of these temples have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their significance in comprehending early human cultures.

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