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1. Ruins of Shali

2. Around Shali

3. The town

4. The oasis

5. Gebel al-Mawta

6. Alexander's oracle

7. Temple of Amon

8. Cleopatra's Pool

9. Gebel Dakrur

10. Tourist Festival

11. Fatnis Island

12. Alexander's Tomb

13. Birket Siwa

14. Birket Zeitun

15. Well of Abu Shuruf

16. Libyan sunset

17. Bir Wahed

18. Night images

19. Losing paradise?


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Alexander's oracle

Oracle of Amon, Siwa, Egypt

Oracle of Amon, Siwa, Egypt

The Oracle of Amon is today mainly remembered for being visited by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, when he was seeking confirmation that he was the son of Zeus (whom the Greeks associated with the Egyptian Amon). Nobody knows what the oracle told Alexander, the answer was whispered into his ear. But it probably was confirmative; Alexander expressed ever since a wish to be buried at Siwa, and he embarked upon great conquests in the east, conquests that only a son of a god would dare to embark upon.
The oracle of Siwa was one of the 6 most influential in the known world of those days. It probably came into use some time in the 6th century, as an expansion of the up to 200 year older temple dedicated to Amon-Re.
The impact of this site in ancient times appears slightly strange and fascinating at the same the same time to modern visitors. The actual temple is so small, but the entire setting is like out of a fantasy novel. The temple complex, complete with a well (quite well-preserved) takes all of a little mountian rising up from the oasis. Seen from a distance, the site is like a white island floating on green palms. Upon entering, a wall rises above you, and when standing next to the temple you will have fabulous views.
Unfortunately, there is little to fascinate a visitor with the temple structure itself, no wall-paintings and no fine details have survived. It is best when seen from a distance.
Oracle of Amon, Siwa, Egypt

The temple itself. It is really very small, but as most visitors never were allowed to enter, just stand on the ground 12 metres beneath, it probably appeared to be quite impressive.

By Tore Kjeilen