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6 points of interest you may’t miss in Aswan

6 attractions you can't miss in Aswan

If you’ve simply arrived from busy Luxor or Cairo, Aswan is a laid-back and welcoming city that gives a peaceable break. Aswan is unfold out alongside the banks of the Nile and is the best start line for seeing the temples, monuments, and different vacationer points of interest within the southern areas of Upper Egypt, in addition to the fully totally different Nubian tradition of the area.

Ramses II’s huge temples at Abu Simbel, the temple on the island of Philae, and the Temple of Kom Ombo are all inside straightforward day journeys of Aswan, which can also be the closest city to all of them.

The best method to see Aswan’s charms is to board a felucca, a conventional sailboat, and discover town from the water, the place Aswan was as soon as a big commerce hub. The river right here is stuffed with islands which might be residence to charming mud-brick Nubian settlements and is surrounded by huge sand dunes from the West Bank.

Everything is de facto photogenic, particularly round twilight when the river shimmers with the setting solar and tons of of lateen-sailed feluccas take to the water. Aswan is without doubt one of the high locations in Egypt for severe photographers seeking to seize iconic Nile vistas.

1. Elephantine Island

There are quite a few outdated ruins on Elephantine Island which might be value exploring. The temple of Khnum is totally destroyed, and all that’s left of it’s a few scattered stones and damaged columns. However, you may nonetheless see the temple’s sq. granite gateway, which was discovered by the German Swiss excavation workforce whereas they had been in search of the stays of the brand new kingdom on the island. A restored temple referred to as Satis temple will be seen within the island’s north. On high of the ruins of the center kingdom, the temple was erected throughout the reign of Queen Hatshepsut and King Tuthmose III.

A extremely fascinating spotlight is the island-based Aswan Museum. Mummies and statues, in addition to relics courting from the predynastic by way of the Roman and Byzantine intervals, had been found on the island when it was first established in 1912. The Nilometer, which is alleged to be among the many earliest Nilometers, is situated in entrance of the museum and was utilized by the traditional Egyptians to gauge Nile floods. The huge rocks on the shores of the island, bearing the inscriptions of the kings and governors who dominated the island all through historical past, are one other excellent attribute that units the island aside.

2. Felucca journey

Taking a felucca out on the river to discover Aswan’s websites is the standard approach to take action (conventional lateen-sail boat). Finding a skipper desperate to take you on a river tour received’t be troublesome. All day, Felucca captains stand round Aswan’s Nile-side corniche and solicit passengers.

A typical two-hour brief cruise sails in a loop across the islands within the central Aswan area, providing spectacular views of town on the east financial institution, the plush palm-tree-dotted islands, and the rippling desert sands of the west river financial institution.

Make a half-day or full-day felucca itinerary for longer excursions, add a swimming cease alongside the best way, and schedule stops at a few of the main Aswan vacationer websites, just like the Elephantine Island archaeological website, Kitchener’s Island, the Monastery of St. Simeon, and the Tombs of the Nobles on the west financial institution.

3. Nubian Museum

Anyone within the historical past and tradition of each historical and modern Nubia ought to go to the fairly exceptional Nubian Museum in Aswan, one in every of Egypt’s biggest. With the development of the Aswan Dam and the emergence of Lake Nasser, the treasures of a civilization that was all however worn out are documented.

There are many fantastic black-and-white images of UNESCO’s superb challenge to avoid wasting Philae Temple and Abu Simbel from the rising waters of the dam, in addition to a large assortment of artifacts from the Kingdom of Kush (historical Nubia), in addition to intensive images of the huge array of different monuments that at the moment are misplaced ceaselessly beneath the lake’s waters.

4. Abu Simbel

Choose a visit to Abu Simbel from Aswan in the event you can solely take sooner or later journey there. Built by Ramses II and miraculously preserved from destruction by a UNESCO rescue mission within the Nineteen Seventies, Abu Simbel is a marvel of each historical and modern engineering.

Everything else in Egypt pales compared to the large scale of the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor, that are situated on the shores of Lake Nasser. Most guests arrive at Abu Simbel by tour. Since Abu Simbel lies 280 kilometers south of Aswan, permit three hours for a minibus or personal car to hold you there.


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5. Philae Temple

One of Upper Egypt’s most alluring constructions is the sacred Temple of Isis (often known as Philae Temple), which was a favourite topic of Victorian painters because of the superb workmanship of its reliefs and the magnificent symmetry of its structure.

Like Abu Simbel, the temple was relocated lock, inventory, and barrel from its unique location on Philae Island to close by (larger) Agilika Island, the place it’s now, because of UNESCO’s rescue mission. The island can also be residence to the Temple of Hathor, the Kiosk of Trajan, and several other different constructions from the Roman and Byzantine intervals. The Temple of Isis, a hub for the traditional cult of Isis, is the principal part of the Philae advanced.

6. Monastery of St. Simeon

On the West Bank of the Nile, the stunningly picturesque Monastery of St. Simeon is located between sand dunes. One of the biggest and best-preserved Coptic monasteries in Egypt, it was first established within the seventh century and finally deserted within the thirteenth as a result of water difficulties.

An aisled basilica occupies many of the monastery’s southern facet contained in the courtyard. The enormous apse, which options three rectangular niches beneath semi-domes, is situated on the east finish of the huge nave, which was beforehand coated by two domes. The remnants of a fresco that confirmed Christ seated between angels will be seen within the center area of interest.

Numerous auxiliary constructions and little grottoes could also be seen to the north and west of the church, whereas residential areas make up its japanese facet.

Aswan is known for its peaceable setting, wealthy archaeological monuments, and gorgeous views of the Nile Valley. It is the best winter getaway due to its delicate, year-round climate. The metropolis gives stunning vistas and points of interest for individuals who need to take a felucca journey throughout the Nile. If you’re planning a visit to Aswan, these talked about points of interest are must-see.

Sherif Khalil is Owner of Dunes & Beyond. Dunes & Beyond gives luxurious excursions, Nile cruises and desert safaris in Egypt.

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