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Aswan

Aswan Aswan is Egypt’s premier winter resort offering a delightful, natural beauty, a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere with a warm and dry climate. A wide variety of ancient monuments and the peaceful beauty of the countryside draw visitors here throughout the winter months.
Lying 560 Miles south of Cairo, it has long been known as the “Gate of Africa”, the contact point between Arabian, North Africa and sud-Saharan cultures. Much of its charms come form the Nile River, which runs through it, as well as from a number of small lush islands in the Nile; such as the Elephantine Island. It is considered one of the oldest inhabited places in Aswan, a center of worship during the Pharaonic era.

South of Aswan stands the High Dam, one of the world’s outstanding engineering features in this century. Its construction in the early 1960’s created an enormous reservoir, Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world.



Monuments and Sight Seeing attractions in Aswan


Philae Temple
The Philae temple complex, once located on Philae island, was threatened by flooding when the high dam was built. With international donor assistance, the temples were moved and reconstructed on Agilka island, where they can be viewed today, this beautiful temple complex was constructed during the 3rd century BC, and the main temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis ( Mother of the goddesses and the gods).


Abu Simbel
Not only are the two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was an historic event in itself. When the temples (174 Miles from Aswan) were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, due to the construction of the High Dam, the Egyptian Government secured the support of UNESCO and launched a world wide appeal. During the salvage operation which began in 1964 and continued until1968, the two temples were dismantled and raised over 60 meters up the sandstone cliff where they had been built more than 3,000 years before. Here they were reassembled, in the exact
Abu Simbel is a set of two temples built by Ramses II, One for himself and the other for his own wife, Nefertari. The Temple of Ramses II was dedicated to the four universal gods Ptah, Re-Her-Akhtey, Amun-Re, and to Ramses II himself. The great Abu Simbel temple is also called The Sun Temple of Ramses II The Temple of Queen Nefertari is also Called Temple of Hathor who was the wife of the Sun God so in a symbolic way, the two Temples, that of Ramses II and that of Nefertari, bring Remises II, Nefertari, Hathor and the Sun God together as one.


Botanical Garden

Kitchener's Island is a botanical garden, filled with exotic plants and trees imported from all over the world. It is a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon in the shade. The island must be reached by boat, and is located on the other side of Elephantine Island from Aswan. The Island was given to Lord Kitchener for his campaigns in the Sudan, and he moved their and created his garden, importing plants and trees from all over the world. Today, the Egyptian government operates this popular tourist destination.


The Unfinished obelisk
Much of the red granite used for ancient temples and colossi came from quarries in the Aswan area. Around these quarries are many inscriptions, many of which describe successful quarrying projects. The unfinished obelisk is considered the largest piece of stone ever handled. Four boats were strapped together, and three obelisks were laid crosswise.
The Egyptians then waited for the flooding waters to carry the boats away. Hatchepsut recorded that work on one of her obelisks took 7 months. It weighs about 1200 tons. When the obelisk was about to be finished, they found a flaw in the rock so they stopped the construction, and began in a new one.


The High Dam
Located near Aswan, the world famous High Dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. It contains 18 times the material used in the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The Dam is 11,811 feet long, 3215 feet thick at the base and 364 feet tall. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt and, together with the old Aswan Dam built by the British between 1898 and 1902`, 6km down river, wonderful views for visitors. From the top of the two Mile long High Dam you can gaze across Lake Nasser, the huge reservoir created when it was built, to Kalabsha temple in the south and the huge power station to the north.


Agha Khan Mausoleum
This pink granite mausoleum in Aswan was built for the spiritual leader of the Ismailisو a Shiite sect in 1957.
The Agha khan was educated in Europe and succeeded his father in 1885 to become the 48th Imam, his son succeeded him upon his death in 1957, and then by his grandson, Karim, Agha Khan IV, members of this sect consider themselves to be the direct spiritual descendants of the Fatimid.


Elephantine Island
Elephantine Island is the largest of the Aswan area islands, and is one of the most ancient sites in Egypt, with artifacts dating to predynastic periods. This is probably due to its location at the first Cataract of the Nile, which provided a natural boundary between Egypt and Nubi a. As an island, it was also easily defensible. In fact, the ancient town located in the southern part of the island was also a fortress through much of its history.


Elephantine Island Museum

The Elephantine Museum is located on Elephantine Island and has artifacts primarily related to that area. The white clapboard house where the museum is located also has the distinction of being the former villa of Sr. William Willcocks, the designer of the first Aswan dam. The museum includes a mummified Ram of Khnum, a golden bust of Khnum, and statues of Amenhotep III with goddesses and prehistoric schist basins.


Nubian Museum
This museum takes its name from the ancient Egyptian (Nbu), meaning gold, in reference to the area's famous gold mines. It was built on an area of 50,000 square meters, 7000 of which are excluded to building, while the rest designed to be the yard of the museum. The work in this unique edifice lasted for 11 years and costed LE 60 million.

The museum consists of three floors for displaying Three thousands pieces of antiques, representing various ages; Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic. The open-door exhibition includes 90 rare monumental pieces, while the internal halls contain 50 invaluable pieces dating back to the pre-history times, 503 pieces belong to Pharaonic time, 52 of Coptic era, 103 of Islamic age, 140 of Nubian time, in addition to 360 pieces having the tang of Aswan.


Kom Ombo Temple
Located in the town of Kom-Ombo, about 28 Miles north of Aswan, the Temple, dating to the Greeks, is built on a high dune overlooking the Nile. The actual temple was started by Ptolemy VI Philometor in the early second century BC. Ptolemy XIII built the outer and inner hypostyle halls. The outer enclosure wall and part of the court were built by Augustus sometime after 30 BC, and are mostly gone.
There are also tombs from the Old Kingdom in the vicinity of Kom-Ombo village.The Temple known as Kom Ombo is actually two temples consisting of a Temple to Sobek and a Temple of Horus. In ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the river bank near here. The Temple has scant remains, due first to the changing Nile, then the Copts who once used it as a church, and finally by builders who used the stones for new buildings.


Edfu Temple
Edfu is situated about 65 Miles north of Aswan. The town was known as Tbot by the early Egyptians, by the Greeks as Apollinopolis Magna and as Atbo during Coptic times,

The main attraction in Edfu is the Temple of Horus, which is considered by most to be the best preserved cult temple in Egypt. During the reign of King Ptolemy III (237 B.C.), the construction of Edfu temple began, yet it was not finished until (57 B.C), According to the Egyptian myths, it was the place where the falcon-headed god Horus revenged the murder of his father Osiris by killing Seth.