Philae Travel Guide

  • the approach to Philae Temple
    the approach to Philae Temple
    by June.b
  • inside the Temple of Isis
    inside the Temple of Isis
    by June.b
  • Philae
    by June.b

Philae Highlights

  • Pro
    ATXtraveler profile photo

    ATXtraveler says…

     Wonderful adventure 

  • Con
    uglyscot profile photo

    uglyscot says…

     having to negotiate transportation to the island 

  • In a nutshell
    atufft profile photo

    atufft says…

     Temple of Philae is a must see place from Aswan 

Philae Things to Do

  • Other Structures in Philae

    There are several other structures around Philae Temple. South (I think) of the island, you can still see the metal pylons protruding from the lake where the original location of the Philae Temple is prior to relocation. (See pic)

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  • Antechambers inside the Temple of Isis

    The chambers inside the temple of Isis is illuminated by dark yellow lightings so you will see the carvings on the walls. Creepy when I was there because I was the only one inside, in fact, there were only 1 group of tourists of about 4 people with their guide in the island, and the guard, and I think 2 military officers, who are all outside of the...

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  • The Temple of Isis

    When you enter the second pylon, there is a small open court, which is part of a hypostyle hall -- huge columns.The court at one time had a colonnade on its east and west sides, but today contains only ten columns. The little court was separated from the vestibule beyond it by screen walls uniting four columns, behind which four other columns...

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  • The Collonades

    On the first courtyard just before entering the first great pylon are two rows of collonades - west and east (or on your left and right side).

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  • The first Great Pylon

    Aside from the Trajan's Kiosk, the 150 feet X 60 feet tall first great pylon which looks to me as the main entrance is a very prominent structure in the island. The pylon has 2 towers with the gate in the middle.Construction of the pylon was started by Potlemy II Philadelphus, concluded by Ptolemy III Euergetes I, the decors were done over a much...

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  • Trajan's Kiosk

    The Trajan's Kiosk is part of the Philae Temple complex and located just beside the edge of the lake. It was constructed by the Roman Emperor - Trajan and a prominent structure in the Philae Temple complex.It's a 14 massive columns structure with carved floral capitals, there must have been a wooden roof during the ancient times, now, it's...

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  • Philae

    Philae as popularly known today is the main temple complex relocated from Philae island, after the High Dam was built, to the island of Agilika. Philae Temple was the center of the cult of the goddess Isis and her connection with Osiris, Horus, and the Kingship, during the Ptolemaic period of Egypt.

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  • Philae Temple

    It is aptly called as Temple of Isis, popularly called Philae Temple, but in actual Philae - the island where the temple of Isis used to be located is already under the water due to the rising water of the dam. The temple in Philae was relocated in a nearby island called Agilika. Agilika was landscaped to replicate the original Philae island. So...

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  • The Temple of Goddess ISIS mother of...

    The ancient Egyptian name of the smaller island is Philak, or boundary. As their southern frontier, the Pharaohs of Egypt kept there a strong garrison, and, for the same reason, it was a barrack also for Macedonian and Roman soldiers in their turn. The first temple structure, which was built by native pharaohs of the thirtieth dynasty, was the one...

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  • The Aswan Dam

    Built around 1900 during the British occupation of Egypt, the Aswan Dam was the largest of its kind at the time. The result was a higher water level behind the dam and much land was submerged under water, particularly during the flood season in the summer. The original island of Philae and its ancient ruins were one such victim. For years, the...

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  • Christian Conversion of Philae

    Although Philae was the last bastion of paganism and Ancient Egyptian religion in the Roman Empire, it finally succumbed to Christianity in 540 AD when the cult of Isis was finally banned by Emperor Justinian. The Temple of Isis was subsequently converted into a church with crosses carved into the walls and columns of the temple, and pagan symbols...

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  • Gate of Diocletian

    Located at the northern end of the island, near the Temple of Augustus, the Gate built by Emperor Diocletian resembles a Roman triumphal arch. The distinctly Roman structure is made up of three arches, with the centre one much larger than the two on the sides. The central arch collapsed, but the sides are intact. This monumental gate served as an...

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  • Temple of Isis - Hypostyle Hall & Inner...

    Past the Second Pylon is the proper Temple of Isis. A small court with a hypostyle hall (the pronaos) leads into the inner temple (the naos), with its 12 chambers, and further into the most sacred sactuary. The walls are intricately carved with hieroglyphs and offering scenes of various emperors and pharoahs.

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  • Temple of Isis - Inner Court

    The Inner Court of the Temple of Isis is enclosed by the First and Second Pylons in the north-south axis and by the Mammisi on the west. The eastern side has a columned portico which leads into smaller chambers. The Court is of an odd shape because the Pylons were not built parallel to each other.

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  • The Mammisi

    The Mammisi, or the Birth Room, is the House of the Divine Birth of Horus by his mother Isis. It was built by Emperor Tiberius in the first century AD and is located between the First and Second Pylons in the Temple of Isis. The separate structure is intricately decorated with reliefs showing scenes from the birth and life of the falcon-headed god...

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Philae Restaurants

  • Sambawalk's Profile Photo

    by Sambawalk Written May 10, 2006

    You should bring along water and food for the whole day trip as a cup of coffee in the cafe next to the temple costs 9 EGP (wow! what a killing price). I would rather thirsty to death than let the cunning merchant on this island to make big profit.

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Philae Nightlife

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Philae - 4 more images

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Sep 27, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The visiting of Philae wasn’t planned in our cruise program. The whole excursion day was full of sights but I agreed to visit a night show there when our guide suggested this additional program. This could help me to see famous Temples and to watch the show.

    The show began at 21.00. The audience was standing at the Colonnades when the music and the author voice appeared. It was very impressive. We were listening and watching lights which opened and covered the buildings while the show went on. Then we entered the outer courtyard, the Hypostyle Hall and after that we sat on benches aside the Temple of Isis in front of the Hathor Temple and the Kiosk of Trajan. The show lasted about an hour and gave strong feelings.

    It costed 100LE ($20) and 35LE ($7) additional for using a video camera. You may watch my VIDEO clip and decide whether it was worth paying additional money for the possibility to catch the show or not!

    You may watch my following VIDEO Clips from my personal YouTube channel:
    7 min 30 sec Egypt Aswan Philai Temple Nightshow Part I 2007
    3 min 26 sec Egypt Aswan Philae Temple Nightshow Part II 2007

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Philae Transportation

  • Aswan Airport

    There are many different ways to arrive at Philae, but most start with landing at the Aswan Airport. This is a beautiful building that houses this regional airport, so make sure you take a picture of it while you have a chance!

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  • Reaching Philae

    Getting to Philae is not straightforward. One is likely to be staying in the city of Aswan, about 15 minutes north of Philae. So to get to Philae one must:1) Arrange for transport by car from Aswan to Philae, typically you can arrange for a car from your hotel or a taxi and ask the driver to wait for you while you visit the site;2) Drive in the...

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  • How to get Philae from Aswan

    Philae is situated several kilometers south Aswan on the Agilka island between the Old and the High Dams. It took us 15 minutes to get the quay near the island. All the tourists get there by buses and cars. Then they change for boats. We got there by minibus then take a boat and in 5 minutes reached the island. Small Agilka harbor was full of other...

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Philae Warnings and Dangers

  • Show till the morning?!!

    I’ve got another strong impression out of the show when the motor of our boat has decayed on the middle of a way from the island to the bank. All boats with other tourists flashed by us and we drifted along the Nile water in full darkness and uncertainty. I have imagined that we should spent all the night long in a boat till the morning... The...

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  • Don't Deface the Monuments!

    The most important lesson that I learned on this trip is how important it is to preserve the natural history which is all around us. When we entered the temple, I was in awe of the time and elaborate detail in each carving. To top that off, the fact that it was 5000 years old amazed me.It really was too bad that the Christians that sought shelter...

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  • Philae Hotels

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Philae Tourist Traps

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    by ATXtraveler Written Jan 17, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most of the Egyptian sales people will offer you a free hat for your trip out to see the Philae Temple.

    DO NOT TAKE ONE!

    They will charge you $25 USD when you come back for that hat.

    It is much easier to just negotiate with them prior to the trip, when you can get the same hat for about $1-5 USD.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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Philae What to Pack

  • saraheg77's Profile Photo
    Philae Island Temple

    by saraheg77 Updated Jun 3, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A HAT & sunscreen

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Tissue in case the restrooms don't have any!

    Photo Equipment: If you don't have panorama capabilities on your regular camera, pick up a disposable panorama camera. That's what I used to take this and several other panoramas and it did a great job. MAKE SURE TO CLICK the picture because the small picture cuts off the best part of the panorama!

    Miscellaneous: Water!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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Philae Favorites

  • Philae Temples History Background

    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...

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  • Philae Temples Relocation

    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....

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  • spot the differance

    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 visitedThe colours on the columns and walls of the...

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Explore Deeper into Philae
Kiosk of Nectanebo I
Things to Do
The Temple of Augustus
Things to Do
Temple of Horus
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Kiosk of Trajan
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Temple of Isis - First Pylon
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Temple of Isis - Second Pylon
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Western Portico & Colonnade
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Temple of Hathor
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Dromos
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Kiosk of Trajan
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West and East Colonnades
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Temple of Isis
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Take a felucca or boat
Transportation
Identify the deities
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Christian Influences at Island of Philae
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Temple of Hathor and Kiosk of Trajan at Philae
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Art at the Island Temple of Philae
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Religion at the Island Temple of Philae
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Arriving at the Island Temple of Philae
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Browsing in the temple
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Bus to temple of Philae
Transportation
Boat to the island
Transportation
Reliefs
Things to Do
The Temple of Isis and Philae
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Tour
Transportation
Boat
Transportation
Kiosk of Trajan
Things to Do
The Temple of Isis
Things to Do
explore the wonders of Philae
Things to Do
look at the Temple of Isis closely
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the temple of isis
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boats to philae
Transportation
Felucca ride
Things to Do
To Philae
Transportation
Cruise to Philae
Transportation
Local Transport
Things to Do
Temple Of Philae 3
Things to Do
The Temple Of Philae 2
Things to Do
The Temple Of Philae 1
Things to Do
Intricate Carving
Favorites
Map of Philae

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