is a modestly sized temple that is unusual as it
contains two, side-by-side temples sharing one structure. The northern temple is dedicated
to the god Horus the Elder (Haroeris), while the southern temple is
dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god. In addition, you will find a
very interesting Crocodile Museum a short distance from the temple filled
with crocodile-related antiquities from this area. Click on
Kom Obo for more details on visiting, as well to see our photo gallery on this
Aswan has a number of attractions including the High Dam, the exquisite Philae Temple
on Agilkia Island, the collection of temples associated with Kalabsha
Temple, the Nubian Museum, Elephantine Island and the Tomb of the Aga Khan.
The shopping here might be the best in Egypt and it is a pleasant place to
visit. Click for our
Aswan Guide that features detailed descriptions of the town's
attractions, as well photo galleries.
Kalabsha temple complex contains four temples that were moved to an
island just south of the High Dam in order to avoid their flooding by the reservoir
filled to create Lake Nasser.
Philae Temple, the more interesting of the two temples, had already been submerged by the British Low Dam fifty
years earlier but was relocated as part of the process related to saving
temples impacted by the water levels of the High Dam. Both temples are
mainly Greco-Roman, but each has its own treasures that you should be seen if
you visit Aswan.
For some Aswan will mark the end of their travels in Egypt, but others
will choose to explore Lake Nasser and its many temple, including the
incomparable Abu Simbel.
Lake Nasser is the reservoir associated with the High Dam whose
construction began in 1960. The water body that was created by damming
the Nile required the deconstruction and subsequent relocation of a number of
temples. The effort was difficult and expensive,
although the results were spectacular.
Many visitors choose to fly south to Abu
Simbel and then take a Lake Nasser cruise back north, stopping at a number
of temples that now exist on its banks. With the exception of Abu Simbel,
visiting the temples along Lake Nasser requires boarding a tender that will
take you from your boat to the site of the temple.
Located in the far south of Egypt near the border with Sudan, Abu Simbel
is one of the most stunning and famous of the monuments of the pharaohs. It is
noteworthy not only from an architectural point of view, but also due to the
incredible detail of the work that was required to move the monument to a
location safe from flooding.
Dating from the 13th century BC, Abu Simbel is famous for its four impressive colossi of a sitting Ramesses
II, a cinematic scene known around the world. There are two temples to explore here. The Grand Temple was named for Ramesses
II, which he dedicated to himself and the god Ra-Horakhty. A smaller
temple was named for his favorite wife Nefertari and dedicated to the
goddess Hathor. Both temples are modest, compact and interesting.
There is an incredible Sound and Light show at night that is well-worth
seeing. Click for our
guide to Abu Simbel, and several interesting photo galleries
Amada and Derr
Approximately 65 miles north from Abu Simbel are the two modest but
interesting temples Amada and Derr (both are Pharaonic in origin).
from 1450 BC and was built by the Pharaoh Thutmosis with later additions by
a cast of famous pharaohs, including Ramesses II. The temple has a small
pillared hall and its columns contain many detailed reliefs along a short
path that lead
to a modest sanctuary. Although compact, the variety of reliefs is staggering
and Amada Temple is well-worth seeing.
Derr, which is only a few feet away, is another of the temples of Ramesses II
dedicated to Ra-Horakhty. It contains two, pillared halls and the
contain some remarkable reliefs. Some of the images were defaced by
early Christians and Muslims who regarded the symbology as blasphemous.
Our detailed section on
Amada and Derr provides photo collections for each temple.
Wadi el Seboua
Further north, Wadi el Seboua, also known as the Valley of the Lions, sits in close
proximity to two other temples named Dakka and Maharraqa that are of lesser
quality. The compact Wadi el Seboua is another of the temples that
have been impacted by Ramesses II and it was dedicated to the sun god Ra-Horakhty.
The approach to the temple is through an aisle lined with sphinx of varying
but modest size, including some with the face of Ramesses II. The
entrance is marked by a small
pylon sitting behind an interesting statue of Ramesses II that was once accompanied by
three additional statues. The interior of Wadi el Seboua is richly
decorated and is an easy place to while away a great deal of time. For
more details and a photo gallery, click
Wadi el Seboua.
As noted earlier, it is possible to see the temples as Kalabsha (Kalabsha, Gerf Hussein, Beit el
Wali and the Kiosk of Kertasi) while visiting Aswan, but it is often the
last stop on a cruise of Lake Nasser. We cover these interesting
temples in our Guide to
Lake Nasser Cruising
Although the focus of our section on Lake Nasser has been its temples,
cruising its waters is quite a treat, The sunrise and sunsets are
glorious and the landscapes are quite interesting. See our photo collection
Lake Nasser for examples of the sights you might see.
If you have enjoyed our overview of the best places to visit n Egypt, we
suggest that you read our detailed pages and examine the photo collections
we provide of these attractions. Choose any location from the
menu at the top right of this page to continue your
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