|Aswan is located on the eastern bank of the Nile River, 893 Km
south of Cairo and 220 Km south of Luxor. A popular resort in winter, it
combines the glory of the museums, intriguing pharaonic sites such as temples
and tombs, mausoleums and monasteries, idyllic midstream islands, a vibrant
street market, with the modern achievement of the High Dam. Not to forget,
Aswan is the gate en route south to fabulous sites of Abu Simbel.
History tells us that Aswan, Egypt's southern frontier town, has always been
the "gateway to Africa" where it lies at the First Cataract, one of
six sets of rapids in the Nile River (the other five are all in Sudan). Besides
pharaonic sites visits, it is interesting to visit more modern aspects of the
city such as Deir Anba Samaan, Aga Khan's tomb, the Botanical Gardens and the
High Dam, of course.
Points of Interest
A temple complex on an island in the Nile devoted to the goddess Isis, Philae
is arguably the most romantic of Egypt's monuments, harmonizing perfectly with
its watery setting. Getting there is only possible by small motor launch, which
is a wonderful experience in itself.
- High Dam
Egypt has long history of dam building. The earliest recorded dam is believed
to have been on the Nile near Cairo, where a 49-foot-high (15 m) structure was
built about 2900 B.C to supply water to the capital at Memphis. A project to
rival anything built by the pharaohs, the High Dam (Sadd al-Ali) contains
almost 20 times the amount of building material used in the Great Pyramid.
- Lake Nasser
As the world's largest artificial body of water, Lake Nasser's dimensions are
staggering. From the High Dam it stretches over 300 miles (480 Km), don into
Sudan, and in places spreads to over 22 miles (35 km) in width. It is also the
most stunningly beautiful, unspoiled region of Egypt.
» Abu Simbel
Built by the mightiest of the pharaohs, Ramses II, with four massive colossi of
himself adorning the façade, Abu Simbel is the most famous of the
ancient Egyptian monuments after the Pyramids and the Sphinx. It marked the
limit of Egypt's domain and was intended to convey the might of the pharaohs to
any who approached from the south. More than 3,000 years later, its two temples
have lost none of their power to inspire awe.