Aswan is located in the foot of the Nile River in the north of Nasser Lake. Aswan city has a natural beauty where you can enjoy the most beautiful views of the Nile River in Egypt ever passing in front of the unparalleled monuments dating back to different historical times such as ancient Egyptian, the Greco-Roman, Christian, Islamic, and modern history. So it is considered as an attractive tourist destination.
Aswan city has 5 islands are Philea or Elephantine, Seheil, Agilkia, Bigeh, Kitchener’s islands.
Explore Egypt Tours is pleased to present this article talking about Aswan city during the Greco-Roman period. This article is the second one in a series of articles about tourist places that worth a visit in Aswan.
1 – Temple Of Edfu
Edfu is situated 60 km north of Aswan. Edfu city holds Edfu temple dating back Ptolemaic period. It is one of the most wonderful preserved Temples in Egypt.
What is the history of Edfu temple?
The construction of this temple was during the Ptolemaic period and the Roman Emperors added some expansions later during the Roman period. It dedicated to the triad of Edfu (the god Horus of Behdet, the goddess Hathor, and their son Hor-Sama-Tawy). The Greeks named this temple with Apollopolis Magna, whereas they connected between Horus with their god Apollo.
What can be seen in Edfu temple?
The plan of Edfu temple looks like the ancient Egyptian temples of the New Kingdom which is a pylon, open courtyard, Hypostyle Hall where an amazing falcon-shaped statue of Horus of Behdet, and at the end of the temple, there is the sanctuary or the Holy of the Holies that is worth seeing. In addition a few Greek elements, such as the mamisi (house of divine birth) decorated with reliefs showing the story of the child Horus’s divine birth.
Edfu temple has a lot of inscriptions such as scenes for battles kings, but the most important scenes are reliefs of the construction of Edfu Temple, the conflict between Horus and Seth, the victory of Horus from the famous legend of Isis and Osiris, and Hours coronation ceremony.
One of the most important elements of Edfu temple is the nilometer (a pillar used to refer to the level of the water in the Nile River).
2 – Kom Ombo Temple
Kom Ombo is situated 45 km north of Aswan. Kom Ombo city is an agricultural town so you can see sugarcane and corn fields. This city houses many Nubians displaced after the construction of the High dam.
What does Kom Ombe’s word mean?
Kom is an Arabic word meaning hill, while Ombe is derived from the ancient Egyptian word Nebo meaning the gold. Therefore, Kom Ombe means the hill of the gold referring that this place was full of the gold referring to the economic importance of this city.
Kom Ombo Temple
This temple overlooks the Nile River so you should do not miss visiting it.
What is the history of Kom Ombo Temple?
This temple was built during the Ptolemaic period and finished during the Roman period. It was founded where the remains of an older temple dating back to King Tuthmosis III and Queen Hatshepsut during the 18th dynasty. This older temple was called Ber Sobek meaning the house of Sobek.
Kom Ombo Temple is called a double temple whereas it consists of two temples are dedicated to worshipping two gods (the god Sobek who takes the shape of a crocodile and the god Horus taking the shape of the falcon).
What is the design of Kom Ombo Temple?
The pylon of this temple does not exist now so the temple starts with a courtyard, a hypostyle hall, then three inner halls, and at the end of the temple there are two sanctuaries, one of them is dedicated to Sobek and the other is for Horus.
What should be seen in Kom Ombo Temple?
- This temple was decorated with several inscriptions depicting the Ptolemaic kings beating the enemies and presenting the offerings to the gods, but the most important reliefs located at the back wall of the temple showing the medical and surgical tools used by the ancient Egyptian doctors to treat patients such as scalpels, suction cups, bone saws, and dental tools.
- The chapel of Hathor is located in the North-Eastern part of the Temple. It displays three mummies of crocodiles representing the god Sobek.
- The Nilometer was used to indicate the water in the Nile River. It was built during the Roman period.
3 – Philae Temple
Philae temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt. This temple is another double temple, whereas it is dedicated to worshipping the goddess Isis and the goddess Hathor.
What does Philae mean?
Philae Island bordered Egypt from the south.
What is the history of Philae temple?
It was constructed during the Ptolemaic period. This temple takes the same shape of ancient Egyptian temples during the New Kingdom, in addition to some elements that appeared during the Greco-Roman period such as the Mamisi (the House of the divine birth of Horus) and a Nilometer.
Philae temple holds other monuments such as The Kiosk of Trajan, the Chapel of Osiris, The Temple of Horus, The Temple of Hathor, The Gateway of Tiberius, the Gateway of Diocletian, and the Temple of Augustus.
This temple was built originally on Philae Island, but after the building of the High Dam, this temple became threatened to submerge it permanently. UNESCO decided to transfer Philae temple to Aglika Island to rescue it. This project took 9 years whereas the temple rocks were cut into approximately 15000 pieces. These pieces took numbers that can be noticed until now.
Philae temple displays sound and light show at night. This is definitely recommended to spend an evening to enjoy this amazing view.
4 – Kalabsha Temple
What is the history of Kalabsha Temple?
This temple was built by Emperor Augustus during the Roman period. It was dedicated to worship the Nubian god Mandoulis, Equivalent to Horus, the god of the sun for Nubians. It is located beside The High Dam and Nasser Lake. the temple of Kalabsha had been transferred to Kalabsha Island during the UNESCO project for rescuing the Nubian monuments during the establishment of the High Dam.
Enjoy day tours offered by Explore Egypt Tours to see the natural beauty of Aswan city where you can enjoy the most beautiful views of the Nile River in Egypt ever passing in front of the unparalleled monuments dating back to different historical times.