Kalabishah Things to Do

  • Kiosk of Qertassi
    Kiosk of Qertassi
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  • Temple of Gerf Hussein
    Temple of Gerf Hussein
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  • Offering to Horus
    Offering to Horus
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kalabishah

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    The Temple of Mandulis

    by MM212 Updated Sep 14, 2008

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    The Temple of Mandulis at New Kalabsha
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    The Temple of Mandulis, also referred to as the Temple of Kalabsha, is the main temple in New Kalabsha. It is dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, the god associated with Horus, and was built at the end of the first century BC during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus. In the 1960s, the temple was moved from its original site, Kalabsha, located further south in the Nile Valley in an area now submerged by Lake Nasser. The Temple of Mandulis is the largest free-standing Egyptian temple in Nubia; other larger ones are rock-cut, such as Abu Simbel.

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    Temple of Beit Wali

    by MM212 Updated Mar 20, 2008

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    Horus & Ramses II
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    The oldest structure in Kalabsha, the Temple of Beit Wali dates from the time of Ramses II in the 13th century BC (it predates Gerf Hussein by a few years) and is dedicated to the god Amun. This small temple is mostly cut through the cliffs and contains the most beautiful wall decorations with original colours in a remarkably well-preserved state. The outer hall is long and was once covered with a vaulted ceiling. Its walls are etched with reliefs depicting Ramses II in his triumphs over Nubian, Syrian and Libyan enemies. The hall leads into the inner sanctuary cut through the cliff. It has double columns and a central shrine with three freaky looking statues of Ramses II seated between two deities. The walls of the inner shrine, however, are the grand prize of this temple. They are decorated with pastel-coloured scenes of Ramses II making offerings to the gods. The reliefs are of an excellent quality and have kept their original vivid colours. See the attached photos for examples.

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    Temple of Gerf Hussein

    by MM212 Updated Mar 20, 2008

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    Ramses II in Osirid form
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    Known as Per Ptah (House of Ptah) in Ancient Egypt, the Temple of Gerf Hussein was built during the reign Pharaoh Ramses II (13th century BC). Like other temples in Kalabsha, Gerf Hussein was moved from an area now submerged by Lake Nasser further south. For a while, the stones of the temple lay unassembled at its new location, but only recently was the temple reconstructed to the form in the attached photos. The original temple was built against a cliff, with the inner sanctuary cut through the cliff. A columned courtyard led into a chamber with six pillars made of Osirid statues of Ramses II. Only one of those statues is standing. Parts of the temple's wall, showing Ramses II making an offering to the god Horus, are also still standing.

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    Temple of Mandulis - Interior

    by MM212 Updated Mar 20, 2008

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    Court and inner sanctuary
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    The Temple of Mandulis is made up of an open court leading into a hypostyle hall and further into a multi-chamber inner sanctuary. The court has columned porticos on three sides which open onto small chambers. The columns are topped with the typical Ptolemaic-Roman period floral capitals, and the walls are decorated with various sunken reliefs of pharoahs and gods. Further in, the hypostyle hall (pronaos) with its 12 columns with floral capitals is missing its roof. The inner sanctuary (naos) consists of three successive chambers, each of which is elaborately decorated with hieroglyphs and pharaonic scenes.

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    Views Over Lake Nasser

    by MM212 Updated Mar 20, 2008

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    Lake Nasser
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    One reason to visit Kalabsha from Aswan is to enjoy the breathtaking views over Lake Nasser. It is the world's largest man-made lake, created with the completion of the High Dam in 1972. The lake was formed along the valley of the Nile in the southernmost part of Egypt and extended into northern Sudan. It has enabled Egypt to regulate the unpredictable flow of the river and provided it with a large resevoir of water which can be distributed all over the country. Unfortunately, in its creation, a large area was inundated along with Nubian villages and many Ancient Egyptian ruins. The villages and their inhabitants have been moved along with most of the ancient ruins - with international cooperation - to various areas around the region. Several cruise ships sail down the large lake and stop along the way at these ancient temples. These cruise ships generally depart next to the High Dam and Kalabsha may well be the first stop on their itinerary.

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    Soviet-Egyptian Memorial & High Dam

    by MM212 Written Mar 20, 2008

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    Soviet-Egyptian Monument
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    When visiting Kalabsha, one cannot miss the lotus flower-shaped modern monument seen in the attached photograph. It was built as a memorial to Soviet-Egyptian cooperation in building the High Dam between 1964 and 1972. Although the construction of the High Dam proved a most successful endeavour, there were many consequences. The positives were plenty and included controlling the river, of course, and providing an enormous resevoir of water to be directed to other parts of Egypt. In addition, the dam was a great source of hydro-electric power. On the other hand, the halt of the flooding of the Nile downstream meant a gradual deterioriation of the fertile lands that made Egyptian agriculture what it is, thus farmers have had to turn to chemical fertilisers to improve the soil which in turn has led to environmental issues. Furthermore, the creation of the Lake Nasser resulted in the inundation of an area rich in archeological treasures. Fortunately, with international cooperation, many Ancient Egyptian temples, such as those in Kalabsha were relocated to drier lands.

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    Kiosk of Qertassi

    by MM212 Updated Mar 20, 2008

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    Kiosk of Qertassi
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    Dedicated to the goddess Isis, the elegant Kiosk of Qertassi dates from the early Roman period (1st century AD). It was moved from its original location, Wadi Qertassi, further south and reconstructed on New Kalabsha just before the creation of Lake Nasser. It now lies just to the south of the Temple of Mandulis. Six columns of the Kiosk are standing, two are crowned with heads of the beautiful goddess Hathor (who was associated with Isis), while four are topped with intricate floral capitals. Although typical of Ptolemaic-Roman period, these column capitals deviate slightly because of the addition of carved grapes and vines. Views of Lake Nasser from within the Kiosk are stunning.

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    Temple of Mandulis - The Pylon

    by MM212 Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    An impressive stone walkway leads to the Pylon of the Temple of Mandulis. The Pylon was built in the typical Egyptian-temple style, though largely void of any reliefs. The gateway leads into the court with its columned porticos.

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    Picnic on Kalabsha

    by MM212 Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Picnic with views!

    I noticed the two individuals having a picnic in Kalabsha and thought it was a fantastic idea! I wish I had thought of it myself and brought my own lunch. If you visit Kalabsha during nicer weather (i.e. winter time), then consider bringing a picnic and having lunch there with breathtaking views of Lake Nasser. New Kalabsha is such a peaceful location, away from tourist masses and aggressive touts, where spending a good afternoon is recommended.

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    Chapel of Dedwen

    by MM212 Updated Mar 19, 2008

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    Chapel of Dedwen
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    Dedicated to the Nubian god Dedwen, this small chapel was also moved from a location further south. A section of the original wall shows detailed reliefs and hieroglyphs. This wall was part of the outer columned portico which led into a rock-cut inner sanctuary.

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