Philae Temple, Aswan

Considered as the Temple of Isis, this unique Temple of Philae in Aswan holds a diverse history combining Pharaonic, Roman and Christian background and fascinating stories from the past. 
A three hour drive from Luxor and located near to Aswan City with just a short 1 hour flight from Cairo. 
Ptolemaic and Roman rulers, keen to identify themselves with this powerful ancient Egyptian cult, all added their mark, making for an interesting blend of styles. The worship of Isis as the Mother of the Gods eventually spread all over the Roman Empire, and early Coptic art clearly associates the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus with Isis sucking her infant son Horus.
Originally, the Temple of Isis was built on the island of Philae, known as ‘the Island from the time of Re’ facing Bigah Island, believed to be one of the burial sites of Osiris. But Bigah was accessible only to priests, so all the religious festivities took place on Philae. With the building of the first Aswan Dam the Temple was submerged for half the year. In the 1970s, when the High Dam threatened to submerge it completely, UNESCO and the Egyptian Antiquities organisation painstakingly moved the entire complex to nearby Agilkia Island, which had been landscaped to resemble Philae.
Boats land near the oldest structure on the island, the Vestibule of Nectanebo I, beyond which lies a large court flanked by two elegant colonnades and the impressive First pylon of the Temple of Isis. The small door to the left leads into a 3rd century BC Birth House, whose outside back wall shows some lovely scenes of Isis nursing Horus in the marshes. The main gate, with two granite lions, leads to the Second Pylon, opening up to a Hypostyle Hall. The inner Temple lost most its decoration when it was converted into a church around AD 553, but the Sanctuary still contains Isis’s sacred barque.
Near by, the Temple of Hathor, the Cow Goddess of music has a wonderful relief of the Gods playing musical instruments. And an elegant monument here is the Kiosk of Trajan (used as a gateway to the temple in Roman times), from where there are superb views.
Note* Check the official price list for boats at the docks before hiring one. The price allows for a one-hour visit, but pay the captain extra if you want to spend more time.
The sound and light show at the Temple of Isis is often considered the best in Egypt.
A hidden gem the Osiris Room on the upper floor, where Osirian mysteries were enacted, has interesting reliefs illustrating the story of Isis and Osiris.
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