20 Things You Need To Know About Aswan, Egypt
Aswan is located in the southern part of Egypt, on the shores of the Nile river. Also known as Aswan, this city is around seven hundred years old and was an important trading center throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, which led to the accelerated development of its infrastructure. Due to the flooding of the Nile riverbed and the rising levels of Lake Nasser, the Egyptians built both a high and low dam in the area to prevent flooding. Still, in both constructions, the environmental impact was not considered. Due to the rising levels of Lake Nasser, the temples of Nubia and Abu Simbel suffered flooding damage. Thanks to a UN campaign to preserve the monuments, different countries of the world collaborated to transfer the temples to their present location, away from the riverbanks.
The Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Aswan
Abu Simbel Great Temple
Abu Simbel is a must-see attraction in Egypt. It's one of the country's most spectacular archaeological sites and is located close to the Sudanese border. This famous temple complex is carved into a mountainside and features statues of gigantic human figures, hieroglyphic carvings, and intricate relief work. Built around 1200 BC by Ramesses II, it attracts a large number of visitors each year from all over the globe.
Aswan Botanical Gardens
In 1890, Lord Horatio Kitchener received a gift as commander of the Egyptian army. This gift is today known as Kitchener Island. Lord Kitchener then decided to import beautiful palms and plants from India, parts of Africa and the east. It was as a result of his love for gardens that the result of this transformation was known as the Aswan botanical gardens. The botanical garden is home to a vast array of beautiful plants and flowers. If you arrive just before the sun goes down, you will get to have a glimpse of the magnificent trees which are made beautiful by the rays of dusk. Fridays are the worst days to be around this place as everyone is off work and tend to bringtheir whole families, dogs,and loud stereos. It’s better to be there late in the afternoon. You can get to Elephantine by ferry. You will get to see some little feluccas awaiting your arrival on the Island and taking a walk through the village. These little feluccas have been assigned the job of taking visitors on a tour of the island.
The Unfinished Obelisk
When you think of a town where the best granites where mined in ancient Egypt, then it was isno other place than in Aswan. These granites were mined and used in making obelisks, statues, pyramids and to decorate temples. Though we are not too sure of the whole process used in creating granite obelisks in ancient times, the large unfinished obelisk which is situated at the northernmost part of the quarries gives us a slight insight. If this unfinished work had been finished it would have been the heaviest sculpted work by the Egyptians from a piece of stone.it currently weighs a thousand one hundred and sixty-eight tonnes. You’ll get to walk down steps into the quarry where the dissatisfied sculptor had abandoned it due to a flaw that couldn’t be corrected. You also see pictographs. To get to the quarries, which are located opposite the Fatimid cemetery you would have to take a 1.5 km journey away from the town.
The Philae temple is also known as the sacred Temple of Isis located in Aswan. It became a much liked and much talked about cause of study for Victorian painters due to it beautifully carved out symmetry, it is one of Egypt’s most adored possession. It sits atop the Agilika islands today due to the fact that it faced near destruction by the lake Nasser but was saved by UNESCOs timely intervention.The temple still holds the ancient cult of Isis but on the island, you can also findthe Kiosk of Trajan, the Temple Of Hathor and various buildings from the Byzantine and Roman eras. Some tourists will find themselves here after they are done going round Abu Simbel but if you want a straight trip you can just take a trip by bus from Aswan.
The Monastery of St.Simon
This monastery is one of the largest monasteries in Egypt and it is quite commendable that it has been well taken care of by those in charge of it. It is located between the sand dunes of the west bank of the NileRiver. The fact that is it well preserved is commendable because it was abandoned since the 13th century. When you take a walk through the monasteries courtyard, you’ll get to see the aisled basilica to the south of the monastery. You’ll also get to see the large apse which used to be protected by two domes but is now just under semi-domes. The monks must have lived in isolation as is seen when you stand on the monasteries fortified walls.
All visitors to the kalabsha temples should forever be grateful to UNESCO once again. They underwent the stress of saving thekalabasha temple from being swept away by water. They are now sitting atop the banks of the Lake Nasser. This temple is the youngest of the three temples and was built during the era of Ceasar Augustus. Here, you’ll also get to find the temple Beit el-wali which was the work of Pharaoh RamsesII. This temple is made up of a sanctuary, a vestibule,and a transverse chamber. There are depictions of Pharaoh Ramses II and his victory over the Kushites Syrians and Libyans. The kertassi Temple is the third temple and it is situated north of the other two. It is designed with fancy floral capitals and is supported by two Hathor columns at the entrance.
Located around Sharia al-Souq this is a market where you can find every kind of souvenir that is available at Aswan. They sell perfumes, traditional hand-wovenbasket, silverware,and spices.You’ll also get to find Nubian.You should also try out the local drink called karkadai which is made of dark red dried hibiscus petals. Thus with the wonderful array of ancient archaeological sites, it is no wonder why Aswan is the number one part of a call for tourists in Egypt.
HOTELS IN ASWAN
Pyramisa Isis Island Resort
It’s located on an island close to the centerof Aswan. This exotic Island has got 28 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the NileRiver.
This five-star hotel, offers an adult spa, waterslide for the kids, which aren’t far from the Jimbaran beach. You’ll get to enjoy the buffet, ice-cream, and a three-course meal for dinner.
Hotel Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
At this luxurious hotel, you are entitled to pick from a wide selection of rooms. The rooms to pick from including premium rooms, palace premium rooms,luxury rooms,palace luxury rooms,Palace Cataract suite, Prestige suite, Palace prestige suite, Opera suite, Palace opera suite, and the luxurious Agatha Christy suite.
The Citymaxhotel provides a 24hr coffee shop and has 69 exotic rooms. You also get to have fun swimming in the standard pool or working out at the gym.it is located very close to the airport and the Nile river. www.citymaxhotel.com
Kato Dool Nubian House
This beautiful resort is located near the blue river Nile of Aswan and next to the elephantine island. It is cozy, clean and possesses an ambiance that is breathtaking. www.Katodool.com