The Temple of Hibis is the largest and best preserved ancient Egyptian temple in the Kharga Oasis, as well as the only structure in Egypt dating to the 26th dynasty or Saite-Persian period (664-404 BCE) which has come down to modern times in relatively good condition. Located about 2 km north of Kharga, it was devoted to a syncretism of two local forms of the deity Amun: "Amun of Hibis" and "Amun-Ra of Karnak who dwells in Hibis".
The temple bears a close resemblance - both architecturally and regarding inscribed texts - to Theban temples of the New Kingdom and also of the Ptolemaic period, yet it differs from both because of some peculiarities, such as the rather bold style of the decorations.
A long hallway, lined with sphinxes, crosses a series of pylons and arrives to the proper temple. This was originally surrounded by a lake, now long-gone. The hypostyle hall has its walls shaped like huge papyrus rolls, bearing various decorations and several hynms dedicated to the deity Amun, many of which are known since earlier times. Among the decorations, notable is a depiction of Seth defeating Apep, a theme believed by some art historian to be a foreshadowing of Saint George and the Dragon.
The walls and the roof are dedicated to the Theban theology and to Osiris respectively, while the naos is subdivided in nine registers, fully decorated with a pantheon of Egyptian deity and royal figures, for a total of almost 700 figures. At the beginning of each register, the king is depicted while performing a ritual; the Egyptian nomoi are also present, each one represented in an Osirian form. In stark contrast with the richness of these representations, the accompanying inscriptions are brief, when not absent at all.
The relatively good preservation of the Temple of Hibis may be attributed to its seclusion. However, since several decades the building is endangered by a rise of ground water which is damaging its foundations, and the Egyptian Antiquities Service was taking into consideration a complete dismantling and relocation of the whole temple.