Bookmark and Share



1. Into the most sacred

2. Colonnades

3. Nilometer

4. Kiosk of Trajan

5. The ferries

6. The original location


Open LookLex Encyclopaedia

Open the online Arabic language course

Saved from the waters

Philae, Egypt

Philae, Egypt

The Temple of Isis or the other temples, is no longer at the island of Philea, which was inundated by the Aswan Dams, partly from 1902, completely from the 1960s. But with the help of UNESCO all the mounments were transported to the nearby island of Aglika, 500 away. Most of the original structures and organisations have been reconstructed. The weird attraction of Philae from the 1930s, of swimming around the temple ruins, looking down, through the water, at the reliefs of the walls, is now gone. The move lasted from 1972 to 1980.
The Philae temples have a tradition of being one of Egypt's foremost tourist attractions. The oldest structures date back to 4th century BC, built there are elements from Ptolemaic, Roman, Christian and Muslim eras. The Temple of Isis was built in the Ptolemaic period (332-330 BC), and was the foremost sanctity of the popular cult of Isis and Osiris, a cult that was a strong contender to early Christianity. Isis was the goddess of motherhood and sexuality. Of other temples, the temple of Augustus lies to the north and the temple of hathor to the east of the temple of Isis.
Due to the tourist potentials, the Philae is now presented with a sound and light show, which offers presentations in 6 different languages, which should fit some traveller's taste, if not all. The show lasts 1 hour, and is a tour through the ruins.

Philae, Egypt

Eat and Sleep
Philae itself offers nothing in the way of accommodation, so heading back to Aswan, first with the ferry, and 8 km north, is the best choice for most.

Unless you go on an arranged trip, get out here is slightly problematic, but nothing like impossible. Take a private taxi from Aswan, or a regular one, and get as close to Shellal as possible. From Shellal you will have to arrange for a ride with a motorboat, and make sure that the boat is waiting for you. All in all this excursion would cost US$6-10, tickets to the site included.

Going Next
10 km north: Aswan (includes boat)

By Tore Kjeilen