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temple hall

During the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus, around the beginning of the first century A.D., various temples were built in Nubia, beneath the southern border of Egypt. In 1960, all of these temples, including the sanctuary of Isis in the village of Taffeh, were in grave danger of being overwhelmed by the waters, swept from off the face of the earth and disappearing forever into the reservoir of the new Aswan High Dam which was then being built.

An UNESCO project to save these ancient artifacts was launched, and the Nubian monuments, including the temple of Taffeh, were carefully taken apart, stone by stone. In 1969 Egypt donated this temple to the Dutch nation in gratitude for our country's efforts in the project.

courtyard

The stones were sent to Leiden and the temple has been rebuilt in its National Museum of Antiquities, in an entrance hall especially renovated for that purpose: the Taffeh-room, which was opened by Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus on 4 April 1979.

In the ceiling of this indoor courtyard a special system of lighting has been created to illuminate the temple. These lights simulate in a cycle of twenty minutes the rising of the sun in the East, the sun in the South at its meridian, and the setting of the sun in the West.

dinner in the temple hall

The mystical mood of this large hall with its 2000-year-old temple will form a spectacular and unforgettable setting for our black-tie dinner-dance on Saturday evening, for we have been granted special permission to dine in this Taffeh-room: the only place in the world where you can dine sitting next to an indoor Egyptian temple!

August 10th, 2002 will be an unique opportunity to have your picture taken standing in the doorway of that temple, to enjoy an Indonesian-style banquet in its fore-court while listening to music once played at the Javanese court of Solo, and end the evening by waltzing around the temple at the soft and mellow sounds of a saxophone-quartet.