Aswan High Dam tour and visit the Philae temple (pearl of Egypt)

December 25th, 2009

Aswan (or Assuan) is a very important economical and social centre in Egypt. Here, the High Dam built during the '60s is one of the world's most majestc project, which has changed the geography of Egypt and the life of milions of people. After a tour to the dam, a visit to Philae temple, called also the " Pearl of Egypt ", follows.

Aswan high dam Aswan high dam
The Aswan High Dam is a project unique in the world, not only because of the enormus efforts required, but also because it has changed the geography of southern Egypt and the life of millions of people. Originally, only one smaller dam, built more than a century ago and called Aswan Low Dam (or Aswan Old Dam) was in exercize a few miles north of the current High Dam, but that dam wasn't enough to control the seasonal Nile flooding in northern Egypt and to satisfy the increasing demand for electrical power and water for irrigation. So, a new dam was built starting from early '60s and ended about ten years later. Above: Aswan dam pictures taken during a tour to the dam.

 

Aswan dam, Nile side Aswan dam, Nile side
Aswan High Dam on Nile side...
Aswan dam, lake Nasser side Aswan dam, lake Nasser side
...Aswan High Dam on Lake Nasser side.
Assuan High Dam Aswan dam data:

Building material: 43 millions of cubic meters (17 times the Great Pyramid of Giza)
Maximum height: 111 meters
Lenght: 3830 meters
Thickness at the base: 980 meters
Thickness at the top: 40 metersThe lake Nasser, created by Aswan dam, is the world's biggest artifical lake, 500km long, with an average width of 10km. The waters did rise 60 meters from the original Nile level, flooding a vast area of the country.

 

Aswan low dam
The Low (or Old) Aswan Dam.

 

Philae temple Philae temple
Philae temple Philae temple
Philae temple
The Aswan tour continues with a visit to Philae temple, also called the " Pearl of Egypt ". This temple was erected in honor of Goddess Isis, but was modified, with many things stolen, by the subsequent civilizations. The temple was partly submerged by Nile waters after the construction of the Low Dam, but it was saved by cutting it into pieces and by rebuilding it in a safer place in the years '60s.

 

Traiano kiosk
The Traiano kiosk, from roman domination.

 

Philae temple in Egypt Philae temple in Egypt
A nice columnade, modified by the crusades with the addition of an altar and of a cross sculptured on the column on the left.


 

Philae temple in Egypt Philae temple in Egypt
Pictures of Philae temple 's inside rooms and sanctuary. In the left picture, the face of Goddess Hathor damaged and deleted by some subsequent civilization.

 

Columns having the representation of Hathor Godness on the tops.

 

Philae temple in Egypt Philae temple in Egypt
Other Philae temple pictures.

 

An relif damaged by hammer, probably by the Crusades.

 

Nile river Nile river
Nile tour by feluca. On the right picture: dozens of four and five star cruise ships are ready to sail the Nile all the way to Luxor.

 

Typical vegetation along Nile river Papyrus
The typical vegetation along Nile river's sides, normally papyrus and palms.

 

Nile river by Feluca Nile river by Feluca
Nile excursions by feluca boat are very popular.

 

Miss Egypt cruise ship Miss Egypt
Miss Egypt Miss Egypt cruise ship
Miss Egypt cruise ship Nile cruise
Nile cruise Nile cruise
Nile cruise I finally board the Miss Egypt cruise ship, for a four days Nile river cruise, from Aswan to Luxor. The ship has every comfort, including Internet connection, and has a capacity of about 100 passengers.

 

Miss Egypt cruise ship Miss Egypt
Miss Egypt pictures : my cabin with a big window.

 

Miss Egypt
Picture of Miss Egypt cruise ship seen from outside.

 

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