Temple Of Debod — The Memories Of A Monument

Design Research Project (2017)

01 Re-building the temple in Madrid, 1970 

             Madrid’s oldest monument is only 40 years old. The Temple of Debod (Spanish: Templo de Debod) is an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid, Spain, in 1970. In this research project, Debod is assumed to be an ever-lasting potential monument  — a reversible and diffuse body which nevertheless has become a historical landmark. This piece of work undergoes into the different architectonical phases that the Temple Of Debod has experienced since it was disassembled in Egypt in the 1960s until it was inaugurated recreating a fictitious environtment surrounding it in Madrid in 1972.

A great discovery defines the starting point of the project: the dissasembled temple was held up in the air in wood boxes, piece by piece, between June 1970 7th to 18th in Alexandria’s Harbour. During the following 12 days, it crossed the Mediterranean Sea in a boat named Benisa until it arrived to the Port of Valencia. Afterwards, it took nothing less than 90 trucks to transport it to Madrid. The temple had been divided into 1359 boxes which contained the total of 1724 blocks of stone and weihted around 1000 tones. All the boxes were exhibited during few days in the esplanade in front of the Royal Palace, just before the new Debod Park was created. It took two years to organize and assembly all the pieces back in their original shape, according to the construction plans drawn in Egypt during its disassembly.

02 The Temple Of Debod in the day of its inauguration, 1972