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The Best Aswan Tourist Attractions

nile cruise luxor and aswan

Aswan is one of the most famous Egyptian cities located in Upper Egypt. It is characterized by its attractive Tourist Attractions and location on the banks of the Nile, guests come to spend their holidays and enjoy Aswan tourist attractions. It is a quiet little town with a plethora of things to do and it’s also great for walking around and enjoying its calm weather, so the best time to go is winter when the days are warm and dry there. Aswan sightseeing is very interesting.

The tourist attractions cater to all tastes, and tourist attractions in Aswan are enchanting sights you would love to see. It is also the home of historical monuments that showcase tales of the greatest civilization the world has ever seen and an ideal base for exploring temples, monuments, and other tourist attractions in the southern reaches. Visit Aswan tourist places and enjoy one of the most enchanting landscapes in the world, tranquility and wonderful landscapes are not only what Aswan has to offer. This city invites you to trace the mysteries of ancient Egypt through its legendary temples. Let’s discover it!

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Top 11 Aswan Tourist attractions

Elephantine Island

Aswan Tourist Attractions, Elephantine Island

Elephantine Island is one of Aswan sights as it is located in the middle of the Nile River, with palm tree farms and villages sloping from mud-brick houses. At its southern end is the Aswan Museum and the ruins of Abu, the oldest settlement in the city of Aswan, which contains the Temple of Satet.

The island also hosts the ancient Nilometer in the form of ancient stairs in the rock, which is marked with Arabic, Roman, and Pharaonic numerals. The ancients used it to measure the rise and fall of the waters in the Nile and also help in predicting the flood and obtaining a successful harvest. The island may have received its name after its shape, which in aerial views resembles elephant tusks, or from the round rocks along the banks that resemble elephants. Later it was famous for its ivory trade. There was a Jewish settlement on the island and many Aramaic papyri have been found.

Abu Simbel

The Construction of the Temple of Abu Simbel

The Abu Simbel temples are a complex of two temples that were carved into the rock during the reign of Ramses II in the thirteenth century BC, as a memorial dedicated to him and his wife Nefertari and to memorialize his victory in the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC, consider one of the Aswan Egypt tourist attractions. it was built in (1279-1213 BC) and took a full 20 years. The large temple was dedicated to Ramses II and the small temple was dedicated to his wife Nefertari.

The small temple was built for two main reasons, to show his love for his wife, Nefertari. The temple was rediscovered after being buried under the sand for a long time in 1813. The sand was completely removed from the temple in 1909 to become one of the best tourist attractions in Egypt. The temple was saved from destruction through a project to save Egyptian antiquities by UNESCO in the sixties until the seventies.

Steps of moving the temples of Abu Simbel

Steps of moving the temples of Abu Simbel

As a result of the rising water level of the Nile, the Abu Simbel temple was endangered. The Abu Simbel temples were moved as part of a plan to save the ancient temples from the waters of the Nile. The mission to save the Abu Simbel temples began in 1964 by the most skilled archaeologists and engineers under the banner of UNESCO. The transfer cost about $40 million. The Abu Simbel temples were dismantled and moved in 1968 on the desert plateau at an altitude of 64 meters and 180 meters west of the original construction site. It was a huge job. It involved cutting the temples into pieces weighing 30-20 tons and reassembling them precisely as they were at the new site. It took nearly five years to finish the transfer.

What do the temples of Abu Simbel look like?

There are two temples. The first is the Great Temple dedicated to Ramses II himself and the second temple, the Small Temple, is dedicated to his wife Queen Nefertari.

The Great Temple

Abu-Simbel-Egypt

The construction of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel took about twenty years. Also known as the Temple of Ramses II, it was dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Harakhty, and Ptah, as well as to the great King Ramses himself. It is generally considered the finest and most beautiful temple that was built during the reign of Ramses II, and one of the most Aswan Tourist Attractions in Egypt. The great temple is 30 meters high and 35 meters long along with four colossal seated statues found in the entrance depicting Ramses sitting on a large throne up to 20 meters high. Below the giant statues, there are a number of smaller statues displaying the defeat of his enemies and the honoring and protection of the gods and family.

There are three successive halls within the temple that are 56 meters high until the end of the temple. The Hypostyle Hall is 16.7 meters wide and 18 meters high and is supported by eight massive columns. The facade of the main temple is decorated with hieroglyphs commemorating the great victory of Ramses II at the Battle of Kadesh. Upon entering the Great Temple, there is a series of rooms dedicated to Ramses himself and members of his family. The last room, the sanctuary, is dark every day except for two days of the year. This was not done by chance, it was necessary to have extensive knowledge of science, mathematics, architecture, and astronomy to achieve this result.

Small Temple

Small Temple , Temple of Abu Simbel

The second temple, the Small Temple, was built to honor the wife of Ramses Nefertari. The queen appears on par with the pharaoh. Also known as the Temple of Hathor and Nefertari. The Temple of Nefertari is a delightful work of architecture located just 100 meters northeast of the Great Temple, which is adorned with two groups of statues separated by a large gate. It contains two statues of the Queen and six statues of her husband, King Ramses II, at a height of 10.5 meters.

Alignment of the sun with the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel

Alignment of the sun with the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel

The larger temple is aligned with the sun, so twice a year the sun rises to illuminate the statue of Ramses. Ancient architects erected the temple so that sunlight reached the room on February 22, the anniversary of his accession to the throne, and on his birthday, October 22. On these two dates, the sun rises and lights up the aisle of the temple, and three of the four statues in the temple. The first three statues are of Pharaoh Ramses II, the second statue of the god Ra (the sun god), and the fourth statue of Ammon (the king of the gods).

The fourth statue remains in the dark because it represents the god of darkness. This statue has never seen sunlight for more than 3,200 years.) who was associated with the underworld of ancient Egypt and should have remained in complete darkness The alignment of the sacred structures with sunrise or sunset is still celebrated to this day by travelers from all over the world.

Philae Temple

fila temple

The Sacred Temple of Isis (commonly known as the Temple of Philae) is one of the attractive Aswan tourist attractions. The temple was rescued from the rising waters of Lake Nasser by a UNESCO rescue project and moved from its original home on the island of Philae to the nearby island of Agilika where it is located today, the Temple of Isis is the ancient center of Isis’s cult.

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History of Philae Temple

The temple was built between 380-362 BC by King Ptolemy II and several other kings of the Ptolemaic period on a rocky island as a place of worship. Isis is the god of motherhood, healing, and rebirth. The temple was moved to Agilkia Island as part of a UNESCO-led rescue mission in the 1960s due to the construction of the High Dam of Aswan.

Philae temple

History of Philae Temple

The temple of Philae is considered one of Aswan’s tourist attractions it was built on the same architecture as the Kingdom of Heliopolis with some elements of the Greco-Roman period such as the nilometer that was used to measure the clarity of the Nile and the water level during the annual flood. It consists of two towers: the first pylon bears two towers, the mamisi (the house where his mother Isis was born in the sky), and an open forecourt leading to the second pylon which has a vertical hall with 10 columns and three corridors leading the main sanctuary of the god Isis.

The temple also had chapels for other deities such as Osiris, Horus, and Hathor, relics from the Roman period such as Trajan’s Kiosk, or smaller temples such as the Temple of Augustus. The island’s temples were neglected and some were even destroyed after the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperors. During the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD), the main structure was converted into a church.

The process of moving the Philae temple

The rescue operation began with the construction of, three dams surrounding the temple, and an artificial lake to lower the water level. After that, the relics were cleaned, measured, and disassembled into 40,000 units and then transported and assembled on the island of Agilkia where they remain today.

Unfinished obelisk

Unfinished-Obelisk

The obelisk is the Greek name meaning the needle. When the Greeks came to Egypt, they saw that it resembled a needle, and that is why they called it the obelisk with the same meaning. The Unfinished Obelisk of Aswan is one of the Aswan Tourist Attractions that serves as living proof of the unparalleled intelligence and skill of ancient Egypt.

It is undoubtedly the largest obelisk in the ancient world. The obelisks were like the pyramids that testify to the ability of the ancient Egyptians to cut and move these large blocks of granite. The obelisks were built of quartz, basalt, and limestone. The Unfinished Obelisk is one of the most important attractions in Aswan.

History of the Unfinished obelisk

The Unfinished obelisk was built by order of Queen Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty. It was built to be a counterpart to the Lateran obelisk, which was moved to the Lateran Palace in Rome. The obelisk is located in the quarries north of Aswan. The obelisk measures 42 m and is 1200 tons. The base of the obelisk is 4 meters long. It is made of pink granite. Unfortunately, the project was abandoned due to the discovery of several cracks in the obelisk. It would have also been the heaviest obelisk weighing 1,200 tons.

How did the ancient Egyptian carving granite?

Dolerite balls

This obelisk provides a lot of information about the stone carving procedures of the ancient Egyptians, as the scratches on their tools can still be clearly seen on the surface of the rock. Also, some yellow-colored lines may have been drawn to mark the places where workers were supposed to carve the granite. It is now known that the ancient Egyptians used small balls of the harder granite mineral diorite, known as dolerite, as a ball bearing for cutting rocks.

They used a special technique to separate the granite from the bedrock, making very small cavities in the body of the rock, along the desired line of separation. These cavities were then filled with wood chips and thoroughly soaked with water. This soaking caused the wood to expand in size, causing the rocks to crack along the drawn lines and finally separate from their base.

Nubian Museum

The Nubian Museum in Aswan is one of the oldest museums in Egypt and One of the best tourist places in Aswan, as it reflects the history and culture of ancient and modern Nubia. It was opened in 1997. It has an excellent collection of artifacts from the Kingdom of Kush (Ancient Nubia) and plenty of wonderful blacks and white photographs of the amazing UNESCO project to save the Philae and Abu Simbel temples from the rising waters of the dam. Artifacts in the museum’s collection include a statue of Ramses II, the head of the Shabaka, And the black granite head of Taharqa. In addition to a comprehensive explanation of the history of Nubia and its people.

Description of the Nubian Museum.

Nubian Museum

The ground floor contains a reception hall for visitors and an exhibition hall where Nubian artifacts and artifacts dating back to 35000 BC are displayed. The first floor also contains a cultural activities hall and an information center.

The museum has been divided into three sections in chronological order:-

  • Section One:-It shows the relationship between the Egyptians and the Nubians, which was based and relied mainly on the trade of some raw materials, ivory, and wood.
  • The second section:- Section talks about the beginning and emergence of the Nubian civilization
  • Third section:- It illustrates the period when the Ptolemies took over Egypt, were able to control parts of Nubia, and built some attractions in Aswan, the Temple of Philae, Kalabsh, and Dekka. The Nuba people left the north in search of a safer life and established the Balan civilization. The remains of this civilization have been saved and displayed in the museum.

 

The High Dam of Aswan

The High Dam

The High Dam of Aswan The annual flooding of the Nile since ancient times turned the nearby lands of the Nile into fertile land but due to the rise of the flood level, the temples were completely submerged. Therefore, it was necessary to build a dam to save the temples on the banks of the Nile. The Aswan High Dam is very important not only as a tourist destination, but it is also important in the life of the whole country. It is 13 km south of the city of Aswan. It was built with Soviet help which is why the High Dam was built as a symbol of friendship with the Soviet Union in the form of the lotus flower.

The History of the Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam

In 1889, the construction of the first Aswan High Dam, the Lower Aswan High Dam, was started. The Lower Aswan High Dam was completed in 1902. The Lower Dam was 54 m high and later its height was increased in two phases; from 1907 to 1912 (height increased by 5 m) and from 1929 to 1933 (height increased by 9 m). In 1946 the Lower Dam was about to overflow, so it was decided to build another dam 8 km upstream. In 1952 the construction of the new dam ”Aswan High Dam” started during the time of President Gamal Abd El-Nasser.

Nasser first requested financial assistance from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and technical assistance from the United States and Great Britain. Initially, the United States offered a loan of $270 million but this was withdrawn by mid-1956. In 1958 the Soviet Union (in the middle of the cold war) offered a loan of US$1.12 billion at 2% interest. Construction lasted eleven years and was completed in 1970.

The Aswan High Dam Construction

The Aswan High Dam Construction

The Aswan Low Dam is 5 km south of Aswan. Its volume is 43 million m3. It is 1950 m long and 36 m high. It rises 40 meters above the level of the Nile and has 7 power generators. But the Aswan High Dam was built seven km above the first dam by layering the red granite of Aswan. It took 36,000 workers and engineers to build it and required five times the amount of materials used to build the Pyramid of Cheops.

It is 3600 m long and 111 m high. The base is 980 m wide and the top is 40 m wide. Its capacity is 157 km3 of water. From the construction of the High Dam was derived the Nasser Lake which is considered the largest artificial lake in the world. The lake was named after the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Lake Nasser is 500 km long, 16 km wide and occupies 6 thousand m2.

Advantages of the Aswan High Dam:

– Provides a stable source of water for the Egyptians. – Helps control flooding in the Nile River.
– Allows multiple crops to be grown at the same time, instead of just one crop.
– Its 12 power generators generate more than half of the electricity needed for all of Egypt.
– Agricultural income increased by 200%.
– Created Lake Nasser, one of the largest artificial lakes in the world, which expands fishing activities.
– Development of fertilizer and metal industries that provided employment and income to the surrounding inhabitants.
– Travel between Sudan and Egypt has become easier.
– Opportunities for tourism along the Nile River and throughout Egypt have increased.

Disadvantages of the Aswan High Dam:

– Many archaeological sites were relocated so as not to lose them to rising water during construction such as the Abu Simbel Temple, the Temple of Philae, the Temple of Kalabsha, and other sites reconstructed outside Egypt in museums in Berlin, Leiden, Madrid, New York and Turin.
– Nearly 11% of the dam’s water is lost to evaporation. – Because of its effects on the balance of the ecosystem, water-borne diseases have emerged that affect both animals and humans.
– A large number of Nubians (almost 90,000) lost their homes due to the flooding of Lake Nasser after the construction of the High Dam.
– Decrease in the fertility of the land because the silt does not reach the soil without flooding which caused the use of artificial fertilizers is necessary to add nutrients to the soil.
– As the water in the lower regions flows more slowly, there is more growth of phytoplankton (small floating plants that grow in the water) and the drinking water used must be cleaned with greater amounts of chlorine.
– Because there is less water at the lowest points downstream of the dam, salt from the Mediterranean Sea slowly entered the interior, making the soil and groundwater saltier than normal. This is destructive to the soil and drinking water, making it unsuitable for use in water supply and irrigation.
– Migration of marine animals to the river due to increased salinity. Aswan with Egypt Tours Portal Aswan has many wonderful destinations that attract many tourists such as the Unfinished Obelisk and the Temple of Philae. You can also visit the attractions of Luxor and Aswan while enjoying the wonderful views of the pure Nile by Nile cruise or book your vacation from our Egypt travel packages to explore many destinations.

The Temple of Edfu

The Temple of Edfu

The Temple is the second largest temple in Egypt after the Temple of Karnak. It is located on the west bank of the Nile River, halfway between Luxor and Aswan. The Temple is very important because it perfectly reflects the fusion between the Ptolemaic culture and the Pharaonic culture of ancient Egypt. The inscriptions on its walls provided useful information about religion, language, and mythology during the Hellenistic period in Egypt.

The History of the Temple of Edfu

The temple was built by an order of Ptolemy III on August 23, 237 B.C., and was completed in the reign of Ptolemy XII in 57 B.C. The temple was built on the site where Horus is believed to have fought Set to avenge the murder of Osiris (Horus’ father) and his own brother according to the famous myth of Isis and Osiris. All this information was revealed thanks to the important scenes and inscriptions found on the walls of the temple.

The temple lost its prestige after the end of the Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the prohibition of paganism in 391 A.D. It remained buried in the sand, protected in the heart of the desert for centuries until it was excavated in 1860 by a French Egyptologist named Auguste Mariette.

The History of the Temple of Edfu

The Architecture and Interior of the Temple of Edfu The architecture of the temple is quite unique, as it combines the elements of Greek and Egyptian culture. It contains a Greek birth house “Mamisi” to the west of the entrance at a height of 36 m and two granite statues of Horus at the site where the annual coronation festival was held and where the re-enactment of the divine birth of Horus was depicted.

It has one of the highest pylons in Egypt that reaching a height of 37 m, built by Ptolemy IX, around it there is a group of rooms such as the Hypostyle hall, built by Ptolemy VII to contain a ceiling with paintings of astronomical signs symbolizing the sky supported by two rows of six pillars, the feast hall and the room of offerings. The most sacred part of the temple is the “Shrine of Horus”, as it contains a black granite shrine, which was decorated by Nectanebo II, making it the oldest relic of the temple. The wall has scenes of Ptolemy IV worshipping Horus.

Gebel El Silsila

Gebel El Silsila

Gebel El Silsila is the name of a recessed gorge between Kom Ombo and Edfu. It is located 65 km north of Aswan, where the Nile is narrow. It was known as Jeny which means the place of rowing. Gebel Silsilla was an important center for the cult of the Nile: every year, at the beginning of the flood season, sacrifices were made there to ensure the fertility of the land. Its history and importance began in the New Empire when it was considered quarries. The walls of this quarry are full of commemorative inscriptions and the names of the kings who worked there, most of which are written in demotic or Greek.

The History of Gebel El Silsila

The History of Gebel El Silsila

Archaeological remains and written texts indicate that the area of Gebel El Silsila was used from prehistoric to Coptic times and evidence from the Paleolithic period was found. On the eastern bank, a cemetery dating from the Predynastic period was found, and rock paintings from the same period depicting people, boats, animals and birds. From the mid-18th Dynasty until Roman times Gebel El Silsila became a sandstone quarry and became a primary source of this type of stone from which Egypt’s major temples were built. The kings of the 18th dynasty built shrines and religious buildings in Gebel El Silsila.

Later work in the quarries was seasonal work, as scientific missions were sent to explore the quarry and work in it during a specific season. In most cases, the scientific mission leaves inscriptions containing the name of the king who sent the mission, his history, and sometimes the name of his leader, and that is the archaeological evidence by which archaeologists were able to date the quarries in Egypt.

The Monuments of Gebel El Silsila

The East of Gebel El Silsila

The most important thing to be found on the eastern bank of Gebel El Silsila is the quarries, which are important for discovering the stone cutting technique. Many rock shrines and stelae were also excavated here:

  • The Stele of Amenhotep III: records the transportation of stone for the construction of his time dedicated to the god Ptah.
  • The Stele of Amenhotep IV (Aenaton): which records the actions that took place during his reign in the quarry to extract the stone for the construction of an obelisk that would erect the Temple of the Sun at Karnak. It also contains a relief depicting the king together with the god Amun.
  • The Stelae of Seti I (of the XIXth Dynasty) and Apries (of the XXVIth Dynasty) There are also a series of unfinished sphinxes, both with human and ram heads. There are several cave paintings of giraffes dating from a much earlier prehistoric period. At the foot of the hills, there are a number of small rock-cut tombs. Ramses II built a temple in the east of Gebel El Silsila, but it has now been destroyed. In the east has been rediscovered the temple of Jeny, which is considered the remains of foundations and earth blocks, and so far it is not known to whom the temple was dedicated, but there are indications that it may be dedicated to Sobek, in addition to indications of the solar cult. This temple was described as a demolished temple of the Ramesside period (from the 19th to the 20th dynasty) by Richard Lepsius. It was recorded between 1906 and 1925 and then forgotten and lost. The temple was rediscovered in 2012 by a Swedish expedition led by Maria Nelson. The temple shows that its floor is four-layered and two pieces of colored sandstone were found indicating that the roof of the temple had astronomical drawings. The temple shows that its floor is four-layered and two pieces of colored sandstone were found indicating that the roof of the temple had astronomical drawings.

The West of Gebel El Silsila

The western area includes shrines, stelae, and 33 rock chapels. There are shrines of some kings of the 18th dynasty such as Thutmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, and Horemheb. There are also stelae carved in the rock of the kings of the XIXth dynasty such as Ramses II, Merenptah, Siptah, Seti II, Ramses III, and Ramses V. There is also a stele of Seti I that records a hymn to the Nile. The rocky Chapels: some kings added to their walls representations of their families and princes, such as :

  • The Chapel of King Horemheb: which contains some “niches” in the back with seven statues of “Amun, Mut, Jonsu, Sobek, Turris, Thot and Horemheb”, in addition to scenes of 75 gods and goddesses.
  • The Chapel of Ramses II: shows that the king worshipped many deities.
  • The Chapel of Seti I: had the same style as the other two chapels, and was destroyed by the earthquake. There is also the temple of King Horemheb, 350 km north, built in honor of his victory over the Nubians and consists of carved blocks, pieces of columns, and the top of a plaque depicting the king making offerings to “Osiris and Isis”, plus part of a brick wall, but the remains disappeared due to modern activities in the quarries.

El Kab

EL-Kab

It is located on the eastern bank of the Nile, 83 km from the city of Luxor and 17 km north of Edfu. Its name derives from the ancient Egyptian name “Najab”, but its Greek name is “Llitiapolis” in honor of the goddess “Llithia” and Roman is “Eileithyaspolis”. This city was dedicated to “Nejbet”, the goddess protector of the gods during birth, coronation, jubilee feasts, battles. In El Kab, there is a desert rich in archaeological evidence such as Pharaonic tombs, Roman settlements, and monuments, built with the sandstone of the site.

The History of El Kab

The History of El Kab

The walled settlement of El Kab was one of the first urban centers of the early dynastic period, and for a short time in the New Empire (1550-1069 BC) becoming the capital of the third nomo of Upper Egypt and kings built temples and tombs on the site. During the Greco-Roman period, the city flourished, but in 380, the city was demolished, either by military or political events. All that remains of the actual buildings are the lower parts of the walls of the houses. The first excavations in the tombs of El Kab were in 1799, but the first publications about them were in the 19th century. The history of the city was not well known until after the excavations of the Belgian mission in 1937. The last of which was a discovery by an Egyptian-American archaeological mission, whose members found 3 panels containing prominent inscriptions and drawings dating from the beginning of the early Naqada civilization (about 4000-3500 BC).

The Monuments of El Kab

The pharaohs built temples in honor of the goddess Nejbet, along with 31 tombs of the nobles of ancient Egypt. The oldest of its monuments dates back to the pre-dynastic era. There were gold mines near the city. Among these monuments are the remains of the defensive wall of the city that was built during the XXX dynasty, and is believed to have been built by Nectanebo II. The most important thing the ancient city of El Kab is famous for is the group of rock tombs.

The Tombs of El Kab

The Tombs of El Kab

A group of tombs were found dating back to the Middle Kingdom period, but the tombs of the New Empire are the most important because they recorded the biographies of their owners contain amazing scenes, paintings, and colorful inscriptions that tell the details of the daily life of the ancient Egyptian. The main tombs in El Kab:

  • The Tomb of “Ahmose, son of Abana”, (late XVII and early XVIII dynasty), who was the ruler of El Kab and military during the reign of Amosis I, Amenophis I, and Thutmose I and one of the participants in the wars against the Hyksos. The tomb is a rectangular room with a vaulted ceiling opens behind the damaged facade. Its construction was not completed and parts of the walls, especially the west wall, were left without relief decorations.
  • The Tomb of “Paheri”, (the XVIIIth dynasty), the grandson of Ahmose son of Abana. Paheri was the prince of El Kab and the ruler of El Kab and Esna during the reign of Thutmose III. His tomb is the largest among the tombs of El Kab and is richly decorated with scenes of daily life, agriculture, fishing and hunting birds, hymns to Nejbet, prayers to other deities. There is a niche with a statue of Paheri between his wife and mother with a banquet scene on the right wall.
  • The Tomb of Renni, (the XVIIIth dynasty), was a prince and priest during the reign of Amenophis I, the XVIIIth dynasty. The tomb is better preserved than that of Setau and has a niche that has a statue of Renni. On its walls are paintings of the prince with his wife, in addition to scenes of Renni with his parents, grandparents, and deities. The Tomb of Setau, (dynasty XX), was the first priest of the goddess Nejbet during the reign of Ramses III and continued until the reign of Ramses IX. It can be reached through four descending steps and the roof is made of unworked rock. It has two low-side chambers that were made later. The east wall of the tomb is the best preserved, Setau had numerous descendants and relatives, all of whom are shown by name on this wall.

The Temples of El Kab

The Temples of El Kab

The city has temples built at different times, to honor of Nejbet and other gods. The most important among them:

  • The Temple of Amenhotep III: consisted of three pylons, hypostyle, naos, and crypts. Ptolemy VII restored it and added a vestibule with eight columns and six pillars. It was dedicated mainly to the honor of the goddess Nejbet, in addition to the goddess Hathor. This was the place where the sacred boat of Nejbet was kept.
  • The Temple of Setau: (Not Setau who was buried in El Kab), which was during the reign of Ramses II, built this temple dedicated to the goddess Thoth, the goddess of wisdom. On the walls of the Temple, there are representations of Ramses II in front of various gods. There are also the bottom of three statues.
  • The Ptolemaic Temple: it was built under Ramses II, but was destroyed and rebuilt under Ptolemy VIII and Ptolemy IX. From the outside, it has a vestibule, whose ceiling was supported by columns with capitals of flowers. The place is vaulted like a tomb for that reason it was believed that Paheri should be buried there. The reliefs have been largely destroyed except for relief at the back of the sanctuary, of the lion goddess, Sejmet.

The Kalabsha Temple

The Kalabsha Temple

It is an ancient temple that was originally in a region called “Bab Kalabsha”, the gate of Kalabsha, 50 km south of Aswan but is now near the High Dam. It is known as “Mandulis” which referred to the sun god for the Nubians. It remains one of the finest examples of Nubian architecture and construction in Ancient Egypt. Travelers give it the name “The Karnak of Nubia”. This temple is considered an island in Lake Nasser.

The History of the Temple of Kalabsha

The History of the Temple of Kalabsha

It was built in 30 BC during the Roman Empire in the reign of Emperor Augustus. It was dedicated to the goddess “Mandulis” (the Greek name of the Nubian god “Meruel”, a local form of the god Horus), in addition to Osiris and Isis. The Temple of Kalabsha was built on the ruins of another unfinished temple built by Amenhotep II of the XVIIIth dynasty. During Christianity the Temple was used as a church. With the help of the German government, the Kalabsha Temple was moved to protect it from flooding after the construction of the High Dam. The temple was cut down to 13,000 pieces and moved to the new site which is just 1 km south of the Dam and the relocation took two years. During the relocation work, elements of older buildings were found, such as a statue of King Thutmose III and a stele of Amenhotep II, so it is assumed that an earlier building already existed in the New Empire. In addition, remains of a smaller temple from the Ptolemaic period were found. In the new site, around this temple, three other temples were moved; the Temple of Amun (Beit El Wali), the Temple of Qertas, the temple of Gerf Hussein.

The Construction of the Temple of Kalabsha

The Construction of the Temple of Kalabsha

The temple is 76 meters long and 22 meters wide. The temple consists of a pylon, a courtyard, a hypostyle hall, two halls, and a sanctuary, according to the following plan; a monumental entrance pylon, followed by an open courtyard, a hypostyle hall (with pillars), and halls preceding the sanctuary which is similar in size to the halls. The open courtyard in the Kalabshi temple had a colonnade with 14 columns on the north, east and south sides, but only the columns on the north and south sides still retain their original height. From the vestibules of the sanctuary, there is a staircase leading to the roof, where you can see a view of the temple itself and the sacred lake. On the walls of the Kalabsha Temple were several historical records, such as “a long inscription carved by the Roman Aurelius Besarion in 250 AD, forbidding the entry of pigs into the temple”, as well as an inscription of “the Nubian king Silko, carved during the 5th century and recording his victory over the Blemians with his image looking like a Roman soldier on horseback”. Also, the Temple contains drawings of the god Horus although it was built during the Roman Empire.

Wadi El Seboua “Valley of the Lions”

Wadi El Seboua

It is an area located 220 km north of Aswan, known as Wadi El Seboua which means the Valley of the Lions. This place includes two important temples of the New Empire; one from the XVIIIth Dynasty and the other from the XIXth Dynasty. It is known as “Wadi El Seboua” because of the avenue of sphinxes that leads to the entrance of the temple of Ramses II. The site once had important strategic importance, as a caravan route passed here.

It is an area located 220 km north of Aswan, known as Wadi El Seboua which means the Valley of the Lions. This place includes two important temples of the New Empire; one from the XVIIIth Dynasty and the other from the XIXth Dynasty. It is known as “Wadi El Seboua” because of the avenue of sphinxes that leads to the entrance of the temple of Ramses II. The site once had important strategic importance, as a caravan route passed here.

The History of Wadi El Seboua

During the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III built his small temple in the area. During the reign of Akhenaten, much of this temple was destroyed. During the XIXth Dynasty, Ramses II imported to build many Egyptian temples in Nubia, so he restored the Temple of Amenhotep III and built many temples, among them is his temple in Wadi El Seboua. After the construction of the High Dam the temples of Wadi El Seboua were relocated two kilometers northeast of their former location in 1964 by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities with the help of American and the area is known as “New Wadi El Seboua”. New Wadi El Seboua is located only 4 km west of the original site of Wadi El Seboua, which today contains three ancient Egyptian temples in Lower Nubia, the temples of Wadi El Seboua, the Temple of Maharraqa and the Temple of Dakka.

The Temples of Wadi El Seboua

The Temples of Wadi El Seboua

The Temple of Amenhotep III

It is a temple of the eighteenth dynasty and consisted of a stone sanctuary in front of a brick building, two rooms partially painted with scenes. It is possible that the temple was dedicated to one of the local Nubian forms of the god Horus, but was later changed to the god Amun. During the Amarna Period, the images of Amun were attacked and the decorations deteriorated. Later Ramses II restored and enlarged the Temple.

The Temple of Ramesses II

It is the main tourist destination in Wadi El Sebua and the second largest temple of the temples of Nubia after the Temple of Abu Simbel. It is 150 meters northeast of the Temple of Amenhotep III. It was built between the years 35 and 50 of the reign of Ramses II. During the Christian era, the 5th century A.D., the Temple was converted as a church and the reliefs of Ramses II makes an offering to Amun were changed, making Ramses II makes the offering to St. Peter. The entrance of the temple consists of human-headed sphinxes with Nubian features. This entrance leads to the first room with two statues of Ramses II, one of them was moved.

Then there is a courtyard with six sphinxes with the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. This courtyard leads to the second room containing an entrance, which was flanked by two statues of Ramses II, leading to another courtyard with four sphinxes with the falcon’s head representing the god Horus. The third room contains scenes of Ramesses II beating the prisoners in front of Amun and Ra-Horajty. The third courtyard contains two rows of columns, each containing five columns of headless Osiris and in the middle of the courtyard is a corridor that ascends to another row, followed by a facade of the temple. Near the temple are three transformed chapels of Qasr Ibrim. There were 11 stelae in front of its walls, but they were moved to the Egyptian Museum. It is dedicated to the worship of the god Amun and Ra-Horajty.

 

 

 

 

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