List of Oldest Temples in the World

Aside from church, there is also one structure where people can perform religious and spiritual activities.

A temple is a symbol of peace and togetherness. It is a unique place for some people who believe that super natural powers exist. Though there are temples that just built recently as The Akshardham Temple in New Delhi built and the White Temple in Chiang Rai, there are ancient temples built millennium ago. In fact, these structures are part of the oldest man-made structures found on earth. On the present times, they serve as a testimony to the gods and deities of cultures and civilizations long gone. Here are the 10 oldest temples in the world.

Oldest Temples Around the World

  • Palace of Knossos

Located some 5 km (3 mi) south of Heraklion, this temple is the most important and best-known Minoan palace complex in Crete. It is grander, more complex, and more flamboyant than any other palaces known to man. The building of the structure started between 1700 and 1400 BC. It had undergone periodic re-building after some destruction. According to Greek mythology, famed architect Dedalos designed the palace with such complexity that no one placed in it could ever find its exit. The palace comprised living spaces, reception rooms, workshops, shrines and storerooms all built around a central square.

  • Gobekli Tepe

Known as the first or oldest temple, Gobekli Tepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill. Excavations began in 1995 by Prof. Klaus Schmidt with the help of the German Archaeological Institute. The structure has T-shaped pillars with carvings of Foxes, snakes, wild boars, cranes, wild ducks.

  • Temple of Amada

The Temple of Amada is the oldest temple in Nubia and the construction began in the 15th century BC by Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III. Though the temple is small, it contains some important historical inscriptions and is significant as the oldest of the Lake Nasser temples.

  • Ggantija Temples

Constructed from 3,600-3,000 BC, the Ggantija temples are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Maltese Islands and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The temple represents a phenomenal cultural, artistic and technological development in a very early period in human life.

  • Hagar Qim and Mnajdra

Located atop a cliff on the southern edge of the island of Malta, the construction of the temple began between 3600 and 3200 BC. Hagar Qim is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed as part of ‘The Megalithic Temples of Malta’ in the World Heritage List. It has a dedicated visitor centre, which offers information about the site in a fun and interactive manner.

  • Temple of Seti I

The construction of this ancient temple started towards the end of the reign of Seti, and may have been completed by his son Ramesses the Great after his death in 1279 BC. Seti I was probably one of the least well-known pharaohs of the New Kingdom period of ancient Egypt.

  • Hypogeum

Known as the only prehistoric underground temple in the world, Hypogeum was originally a sanctuary. However, it became a necropolis in prehistoric times.  The complex has three levels, the upper level (3600-3300 BC), the middle level (3300-3000 BC), and the lower level (3150 -2500 BC). The entire base or area of the Roman Coliseum measured 6 acres. The hypogeum consisted of two-level subterranean network of tunnels, shafts, mechanical devices and 32 animal pens.

  • Temple of Hatshepsut

Situated beneath the cliffs at Deir el Bahari on the west bank of the Nile, Temple of Hatshepsut is one of the most beautiful of the royal mortuary temples. Construction of the temple of Hatshepsut took fifteen years, between the 7th and the 22nd years of the Queen’s reign. The walls of the structure have engraved texts, which describe the voyage, the gifts offered to the king and queen of Punt, the products exported from there, including cinnamon, trees, ebony, ivory, gold, aromatic wood, incense and myrrh, and various animals.

  • Luxor Temple

Founded in 1400 BC during the New Kingdom, Luxor Temple is a dedication to the three Egyptian gods Amun, Mut, and Chons. It is the center of the festival of Opet, Thebes’ most important centenary. The temple has been in almost continuous use as a place of worship right up to the present day.

  • Stonehenge

Known as one of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago. It is the earliest structures known in the immediate area are four or five pits. Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

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