Aswan has some of the best preserved Ancient Sites in Egypt, and is a must for those who have a fascination for history.
Philae Temple is now located on an island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt. Philae was originally located near the expansive First Cataract of the Nile in Upper Egypt and was the site of an Egyptian Temple complex. The rapids and the surrounding area have been flooded on various occasions since the initial construction of the Aswan Low Dam in 1902. The temple complex was later dismantled and relocated to nearby Agilkia Island as part of the UNESCO Nubia Campaign project, protecting this and other complexes before the 1970 completion of the Aswan High Dam.
Aga Khan Mausoleum
The Mausoleum of Aga Khan, is the mausoleum of Aga Khan III, Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, who died in 1957. The mausoleum is located at Aswan, along the Nile of Egypt, since Egypt was formerly the centre of power of the Fatimids.
The mausoleum is built in the style of the Fatimid tombs in Cairo. It is built of pink limestone, while the tomb is built of white Carrara marble. The Aga Khan was buried there two years after he died, since he used to spend part of the winter season living in a nearby villa. A red rose is laid on the Aga Khan’s tomb everyday- a practice first started by the Aga Khan’s wife.
Tombs of The Nobles – Qubbet el-Hawa
The elite Tombs date mainly from the Old Kingdom which provide an insight into the burial traditions of Upper Egyptian Nome 1 during the later Old Kingdom. The tombs include the famous tomb of Harkhuf. Others belong to Sabni or Heqaib. There are later tombs, from the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom. Excavation work continues. The hill is also the site of a Coptic monastery and some of the tombs were reused as a Coptic church.
St Simeon Monastery
The fortresslike 7th-century Monastery of St Simeon was first dedicated to the local saint Anba Hedra, who renounced the world on his wedding day. It was rebuilt in the 10th century and dedicated to St Simeon. From here the monks travelled into Nubia, in the hope of converting the Nubians to Christianity. To get there, take a private boat across the Nile then walk up the (mostly paved) desert track, or hire a camel to take you up.
The unfinished obelisk is the largest known ancient obelisk and is located in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan. It was ordered by Hatshepsut (1508–1458 BC). It is nearly one third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons.
The obelisk’s creators began to carve it directly out of bedrock, but cracks appeared in the granite and the project was abandoned. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers’ tools still clearly visible as well as ocher-colored lines marking where they were working.