Aswan University (Egypt) Temple of Philae on the island Agilkia
There are a lot of temples in Egypt and I have seen many. But Philae is the “sweetest” one, romantic not only because of its devotion to Isis and her love to Osiris, but also its architecture and redesign. With ceiling phantasy can easily float back for more than 20 centuries.
A tour with a guide is highly recommended to recognize and understand the traces of different cultures during the centuries!
Philae is offered as a package (during the day) to visit Philae, Highdam and the Unfinished Obelisk (prices please see left side) or a package including also Kalabsha Temple, Beit Al-Wali and Kertassi.
“Most of all, though, we enjoyed the company and excellent guiding of Fatma for our Temple of Philae and Kalabsha visit – what a joy to be with such a knowledgable, enthusiastic, radical/free-thinking and independent Muslim woman – HIGHLY recommended!” (From our guestbook: Karl Harris, March 2011)
Philae is dedicated to Isis – the Goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility. As symbolic mother of the king, she appears as a woman with a throne-shaped crown, or sometimes depicted with the sign of motherhood and fertility: the two horns and the solar disc between them. Her cult spread over Europe since the Greco-Roman period.
The cult of Isis at Philae goes back to the 7th century BC, but the earliest remains date from the 4th century BC.
And Isis was being worshipped at Philae until the 6th century AD!
By Roman times Isis had become the greatest of all the Egyptian gods, worshipped right across the Roman Empire even as far as Britain.
Early Christians transformed Isis Temple into a chapel and defaced many of the reliefs – these which were not buried from the sand. Muslims later destroyed their inscriptions.
(One can still see by the color of the stones the waves from the sand).
Later, French soldiers fghting for Napoleon Bonaparte left their graffities.
After Old Aswan Dam (1902) was built, Philae was swamped half of each year by the high waters, so tourists rented rowing boats to glide among the columns and peer down through the water of the Nile. Amazing it is so well preserved.
When Aswan High Dam was completed in 1971, the temples on Philae would have entirely disappeared, but they were rebuilt by the UNESCO on a nearby Island: Agilkia.
• Above – during the Sound and Light Show
• Isis (during the Sound and Light Show)
• Altar from early Christians who used Isis Temple as a Chapel
• One still can see where the sand protected the stones
• Philae seen from the boat (2x)
• Exit Philae
• Kiosk of Trajan
• Overseer at Philae
• Kiosk of Trajan during the Sound and Light Show
1- 4 left: thank you Vincent Poon, HongKong!
other photos: Petra Dressler