It is considered that the Ptolemies erected the imposing buildings of the Philae Temples in the last two centuries B.C. and the Roman Emperors continued the construction in the first three centuries A.D. I don’t believe it but let them talk about it!
The Temples were built of the same style of the temples of the New Kingdom in addition to some other elements, which appeared in the Greco-Roman period.
The Temples of the island were neglected and some of them destroyed after the official of the Roman Emperor to Christianity. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Justinian the main Temple was converted to a basilica. From then until the coming of Islam a Coptic town flourished on the island. Nevertheless the Temples could survive until the XVIII century when Europeans saw them for the first time.
At the second-fifth pics you may see David Roberts drawings (1838-1839).
Useful link: Planetware Egypt Philae
Until the construction of the first Aswan Dam the Philae Island ranked as one of the most beautiful places in Egypt. The Temples had submerged in the water after building the first Aswan dam in 1906, which now is called the Old Dam. They were under water for the greater part of the year and were accessible only between August and December.
Egyptologists together with the UNESCO selected a suitable place on Agilka Island to save the Temples of the Philae Island from the water. But they had to wait till the completion of the High Dam in 1971 because the relocation needed the stabilized level of the water around the island.
T he island of Philae was surrounded by a cofferdam and the area within it was drained. Then a new site was prepared on the neighboring island of Agilka. The Temples were broken up into sections, which were carefully numbered, and then re-erected in the same relative positions on Agilka.
The project took over than 9 years to be accomplished. Finally the Temples were reopened in its new location in 1980.
To see how the sights use to look before they were restored and the sand was excavated out of the temples buy the book A JOURNEY IN EGYPT ( BONECHI PUBLISHERS) by David Roberts a Scot who visited Egypt in 1838-9 for 11months drawing and painting in watercolours and oils the sights ,temples that he visited
The colours on the columns and walls of the hieroglyphs are very bright giving you a good idea of how colourful the temples were.
Fondest memory: the sound of peace
You will be amazed at the time and effort each single heiroglyph took. To think of the man power and skill it would take today to produce something nearly as beautiful boggles the mind.
Take a look at this picture, and ask yourself whether you would have been able to create this with the primitive tools and lack of engineering know-how that exist today.
We owe alot to our ancient Egyptian ancestors!
Here you can see a part of the wall where much of the hieroglyphics had deteriorated. But many of the walls were still in tact, even after having been transported from one location to another to escape the Nile waters!
Fondest memory: We haggled for a hat as we left the dock for Philae, and didn't get a great deal, but I got lots of wear out of that hat! I promise I could see out from under it, even if it doesn't appear that way from the picture =)
Be sure to get your traveling companions or random tourists to take pictures of you in all the locations, so you can prove you really were there! =)
Favorite thing: This was the first temple I visited in Egypt, so I took quite a few pictures! :) This is a scene on the outside of the temple. You can tell it's not part of the inner part of the temple, because it's a war scene and they only put peaceful depictions on the inner part of the temples. Mostly there would be scenes of giving offerings to Gods on the inner walls. In this particular scene, the god is holding his enemy by the hair and is about to strike him!
Favorite thing: More interesting architecture. The temple of Philae was actually situated on an island which would have flooded when the Aswan Dam was built, so it was cut up and moved piece by piece and re-erected on this island.