Aswan High Dam, Temple of Philae and the Unfinished Obelisk
Duration: Half Day
Explore the highlights of Aswan during your holiday in Egypt. This fascinating guided tour will introduce you to some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including the world famous High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk and the beautiful Temple of Philae.
Extending along the east bank of the River Nile in Southern Egypt, the bustling city of Aswan was formerly the ancient city of Swenet. Some of the country’s most historic attractions can be found here, including the magnificent Aswan High Dam. Although it was constructed in the 1960s, thousands of years after most of Egypt’s awe-inspiring landmarks were built, the High Dam is equally as impressive.
Designed to control flooding of the Nile River, the dam is considered one of the world's largest power-irrigation projects and a marvel of modern engineering, soaring 365 feet (111m) high and stretching for over two miles (3.2km). Today, the High Dam’s 500-mile long reservoir (Lake Nasser) irrigates local farmland and supplies clean, fresh drinking water to thousands of homes throughout Egypt. In addition, the hydro-electric power generated is able to supply electricity to the whole of the country.
From here you will continue to the Unfinished Obelisk. In Ancient Egyptian times, these impressive stone pillars were built in front of various temples to draw power from the Heavens to the Earth, marking it as a place of sun worship. One of the most ambitious obelisks was never completed, however, due to a fatal crack developing in the beautiful red granite. This same material, brought from the quarries of Aswan, was used to build the majority of Egypt’s temples and monuments in ancient times.
So remains the ‘Unfinished Obelisk of Aswan’ at Aswan’s ancient Northern Quarry. Extending over 40 meters in height, this is the largest known obelisk in Egypt. This fascinating open-air museum offers a unique insight into ancient Egyptian stone-cutting techniques and the types of tools used. Marks from the labourers tools are still clearly visible on the surrounding rock faces today.
Your day concludes with a visit to the beautiful Temple of Philae. Located on its own sacred island in the River Nile, the complex was rescued and reassembled on higher grounds to prevent it being submerged under water during the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. Set amongst picturesque sculptured landscapes, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Isis and is widely regarded as the most enchanting in Egypt.
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