Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Gravesend, United Kingdom
September 19, 2009
From journal The Ancient Delights of the Middle East
May 31, 2009
From journal Nepenthe in the Nile
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
January 22, 2008
From journal Frontier of the Pharoahs
July 10, 2002
This was one of my favorite places. It had a romantic feel w/ the magnificent natural surroundings, beautifully carved floral columns, & ever-present love story of Osiris & Isis.
With the construction of the new Aswan High Dam, Philae Temple was threatened w/ complete & permanent submersion. In a massive operation led by UNESCO & the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, the island of Agilkia was reshaped into an exact replica of Philae, & the Temple of Isis, the Temple of Hathor, & Trajan's Kiosk were relocated to its drier ground. The relocated Philae was reopened in all its splendor, tide marks & all, in 1980. A remarkable feat!
For a bit of romance, return to Philae by night for the sound & light show.
From journal Aswan to Abu Simbel & More
LONDON, United Kingdom
July 9, 2002
Various original buildings remain, including a well-preserved pylon (a characteristic feature of Egyptian temples) with massive carvings and the impressive birth house. There are also some Roman remains on the island, although, despite being more modern, these are less well preserved. It’s nothing like the scale of Karnak, but the island setting is very attractive.
Can easily be combined with a trip to the High Dam and the unfinished obelisk, which as you might expect is, well, unfinished.
It's 30m long, so they must have gone mental when they realised there was a flaw in the rock!
From journal Aswan - a cultural tour
March 10, 2002
The Temple of Isis on the island of Philae has been attracting tourists for thousands of years. Isis was the goddess of love, purity, healing motherhood, nature and immortality. She was worshiped passionately by the Egyptians and became the universal mother of nature symbol. Legend has it that on Philae, while searching for her husband Osiris' dismembered body after his murder, she found his heart and declared Philae a sacred site. Her cult of followers came from all over the Mediterranean, and worshiped her here at this temple until the 6th century.
Originally, the structures were built over ancient ruins by the Romans around 300 BC. The temple walls show pictures of Isis with her husband Osiris and son Horus (as a baby suckling her and as a small boy). The hypostle hall had lots of decorated columns, each of them different.
Over time, other people began adding or destroying their own marks and structures. Christians transformed the main hall into a chapel, defacing the pagan reliefs and adding their own inscriptions. They also built two churches. The Coptic cross was represented on the church walls, indicating life, not death. The ankh is also inscribed, illustrating the two signs of life, the holy family, and the trinity. Egyptians also use the ankh to symbolize the division between lower and upper Egypt. Later, the Muslims then defaced the Christian inscriptions and added their own.
In addition to the pylon, courts and sanctuary in the Temple complexes, there are other temples on the island dedicated to Augustus and Hathor. Our guide allowed fifteen minutes to wander around after his presentation. We snuck away to a private place, some deserted ruins near the water and began to take pictures. The spot was perfect for posing topless against a weathered limestone column...until we noticed a guard running quickly toward us. I fumbled to put on my shirt (inside out, oops) before he reached us. He was surprisingly not angry, but instead encouraging us to continue! Ah, no thanks.
This love temple was rescued from rising waters, created from the new Aswan Dam, and moved to a higher island in 1972. Careful selection of the land matched the size and shape of the island. And careful attention to detail ensured that the temples were relocated exactly the way they had been on the original site.
Admission is 20 pounds, and hours are 8-4 daily. The boat ride to reach the scenic island is about 16 pounds for up to ten people. There is a sound and light show nightly lasting an hour. Check for times and languages.
From journal Honeymoon in Aswan & Abu Simbel