Top Attractions to visit in Aswan
“Aswan”, the beautiful southern city of Egypt, is a unique destination that offers you an unforgettable experience. It lies in the southernmost part of Egypt on the shores of the Nile river, about 200 km from “Luxor” and 850 km from the capital of Egypt “Cairo”. Aswan is renowned for its beautiful nature and ancient monuments, and It is also famous for being the site of the high dam.
The high dam
It is an enormous project, inaugurated in 1970 after 11 years of work, it is considered one of the most important projects of the 20th century. This dam was constructed in order to control the flood in Egypt by impounding the water of the Nile flood behind the dam to be available for use all over the year. In addition, the high dam is also used as a source of generating electric power. Nowadays, the high dam is an essential tourist attraction in Aswan, and its visit is usually included in most Aswan tours.
As a result of reserving the flood water a big reservoir has been formed behind the high dam, it is now considered one of the greatest artificial lakes known as “lake Nasser”. It is a beautiful place where you can enjoy picturesque scenes and visit the ancient monument of Nubia. You also can enjoy a Nile cruise on lake Nasser, which includes visiting the Nubian monuments and the high dam.
Temple of Kom Ombo
The city of Kom Ombo lies to the north of Aswan, it was known as “Pa-Sebek” in ancient times, which means “the domain of Sobek”. Sobek was the crocodile god in ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped in the city of Kom Ombo. The temple is a unique one in the Nile valley because it is dedicated to two divine triads: the triad of god Sobek and the triad of the god Horus the great. The temple was built in the new kingdom on an older construction, and it was reconstructed during the Ptolemaic period when the city of Kom Ombo acquired more importance. The temple consists of a pylon followed by an open court that leads to two columned halls, and at the end of the temple there are two sanctuaries dedicated to the god Sobek and the god Horus the Great.
Temple of Philae
This temple was originally located on the “Philae” island in lake Nasser, but after the construction of the high dam it was relocated to a nearby island called” Agilika” to avoid its submersion. You can reach the island by small boat, which is part of the joy of this tour. The location of the temple makes it one of the most charming places in Egypt where the great historical constructions meet the beautiful nature. The main temple building was initiated under the reign of Ptolemy II. It comprises many temples and chapels, but the most important one is the temple of Isis. In addition, There are other monuments to see in the complex of Philae such as:
Temples of Abu Simbel
About 280 Km south of Aswan, there is one of the most well-known Egyptian monuments, it is the temple of Abu Simbel. It was one of the rescued Nubian Monuments after the construction of the high dam. The temple is a huge rock-cut one, built by one of the most powerful pharaohs, “Ramses II”. Also, he constructed another smaller temple in Abu Simbel for his wife “Nefertari”. The larger temple of Abu Simbel is preceded by 4 colossi for King Ramses II. Between those statues lies the entrance of the temple that leads to a Hypostyle hall, then a narrower vestibule and a transverse chamber. At the innermost part of the temple, you can find the sanctuary accommodating four statues for the gods of the temple along with a statue for the defied King Ramses II. These statues are related to a famous and interesting phenomenon that happens twice each year. In which the sun rays enter the sanctuary of the temple and enlighten the four statues of gods.
The unfinished obelisk
In ancient times, Aswan was known for its granite quarries, so it was the site of many building projects. One of these projects is the so-called “unfinished obelisk”, it was intended to be cut and moved to another place, probably the Karnak temple, but cracks in its stone prevent workers from completing it. The interesting fact about it is that it is the largest obelisk found in Egypt. It was found dwelling in a huge granite opening and still attached to the bedrock, while the other three sides were already carved. If you are wondering about how important an unfinished monument is, let me inform you about its importance. The construction of the huge monuments in Ancient Egypt is a big mystery for archeologists to solve, including the construction of the obelisk. So when the unfinished obelisk was discovered, it provided them with many insights and information about the techniques of building obelisks in Ancient Egypt.
The Nubian village
It is a place where you can enjoy the authentic aura of Nubia. Its buildings and houses are distinguished by the beautiful and bright colors, which make it a unique art scene. Inside the village you can see camels and crocodiles, also you can visit bazaars and shops to buy souvenirs and gifts. Lunch is typically included in the tour, and dishes from the traditional Nubian cuisine are served.
Aswan old market
This market is the main local market in Aswan, it is a long avenue full of shops and traditional goods. It is near to the Nile, so it is easily reachable from wherever you are. The old market is known for selling spices, Egyptian clothes, souvenirs, traditional textiles, and Nubian artifacts.
It lies on the Nile opposite the city of Aswan, it is considered one of the attractions of Aswan. You can reach the island by boat, where you can enjoy the scenery of the Nile and the freshness of the air. Furthermore, it comprises many archaeological sites and monuments such as the temple of Khnum and the ancient nilometer along with the Aswan museum. Also, you can find many resorts and restaurants there where you can enjoy luxury facilities.
The botanical garden of Aswan is located on Kitchener's Island to the west of the island of Elephantine. You can get there by the traditional boat “Felucca” from the city of Aswan. The island is a paradise of trees, palms, and various species of plants along with a large number of birds