Overview of Aswan (A Frontier Town of Ancient Egypt)

The beautiful city of Aswan, previously known as Swenett, is situated in the south of Egypt. The word Aswan is gotten from the old Egyptian word “Soun”, and that implies souk or market. Aswan procured its name since it was an essential passage towards the south. In antiquated times, it was the primary supplier of stone utilized for monoliths and models. Aswan is known for its lovely Nile Valley view, critical archeological destinations, and quiet quality. Its weather conditions are warm and lasting through the year, which makes it an ideal winter objective. Let’s take an overview of the enchanting travel hub.

Overview of Aswan

Overview
Source: CodeCarvings Piczarrd

Aswan is a city in Egypt and the capital of the Aswan governorate, located on the Nile River‘s east bank, just beneath the First Cataract. It faces Elephantine island (now Jazrat Aswan), which contains the ruins of Yeb’s old city. As was the name given to the southern outskirts of pharaonic Egypt. Its nearby quarries, which are still in operation, supplied stone for some ancient Egyptian landmarks. Swen (Ancient Egyptian for “the Mart”), from which the Greek Syene and Arabic Aswan arose, was located on the Nile’s eastern bank. Later, the Romans, Turks, and British used Aswan as a wilderness post.

Aswan now

An emerging travel hub, Aswan is now an authoritative center, winter resort, and business center that receives trade from Sudan. It is also a modern place, with a copper and steel supplying complex, a synthetics plant producing compost, a concrete plant, a sugar treatment facility, and quarries supplying stone and marble. The old Aswan Dam (completed in 1902) rises approximately 3 miles (5 km) south of the city, while the Aswan High Dam (completed in 1970) rises approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of the city. Aswan is home to the Higher Industrial Institute. In 1980, a fisheries training school was established. An exhibition hall in Elephantine houses governorate relics. The city, which serves as the southern terminus of the Cairo-Aswan rail line, has a plethora of inns.

The city offers scenic views and attractions for a felucca cruise down the Nile (Egyptian boat). The waterway flows delicately from Lake Nasser through various islands surrounded by dark stone and vegetation. Cruising to verifiable locations such as Philea, Elephantine Island, Aswan Museum, Agha Khan Mausoleum, Monastery of St. Simeon and Botanical Island allows you to learn about Aswan’s rich history and culture. The Temple of Abu Simbel, the Temple of Kom Ombo, the Nubian Museum, and the Aswan High Dam is also fantastic verifiable objections.

Aside from the city’s well-known attractions, Aswan offers a one-of-a-kind social encounter through the Nubian Village, known as “Gharb Seheyl.” Investigating the bright town allows you to discover the last vestiges of Nubian human progress that coincided with the Ancient Egyptians. Aside from the Aswan Souk, Nubia is an excellent place to look for trinkets, flavors, and locally handcrafted creations.

Places to see and things to do in Aswan

Elephantine Island in Aswan

Elephantine Island in Aswan
Source: TripAdvisor

Elephantine Island is an important vacation destination in Aswan, with palm tree manors and slanting towns of beautiful mud-block houses. The Aswan Museum and the Ruins of Abu, Aswan’s most ancient settlement, are located at its southern end and include the Old Kingdom Temple of Khnum and the Temple of Set. The historical center structure, housed in a lovely late-nineteenth-century estate, is partially open, with a collection of relics spanning Elephantine Island’s set of experiences up to the Roman period.

Aswan’s Nilometer is located on the eastern dike near the remnants and down a flight of steps. With these stone-cut wells, the ancient Egyptians estimated the Nile’s ascent and fall, allowing them to gauge the level of the yearly flood and thus predict the outcome of their collection. When you’ve finished exploring the ruins, head north into the island to meander the backstreets of Koti and Siou, where the houses are painted with vibrantly colored patterns. Sheep touch and chickens peck in the narrow back entranceways, and ranchers till their nurseries as they have for a long time.

Felucca sailing adventure in Aswan

Felucca sailing adventure in Aswan
Source: Viator

The most traditional way to tour Aswan is to take a felucca down the Nile (conventional lateen-sail boat). You’ll have no trouble spotting a captain eager to take you on a waterway tour. Felucca captains spend the entire day promoting for clients along Aswan’s Nile-side corniche. A typical two-hour visit sails in a circle around the islands of the central Aswan region, with spectacular views of the undulating desert rises of the west stream bank, the lavish palm-tree-strewn islands, and the city on the east bank.

Make a half-day or full-day felucca itinerary and plan for a swimming stop en route, as well as stops at some of the main Aswan vacation destinations, for example, the archeological site on Elephantine Island, Kitchener’s Island, and the west bank locales of the Monastery of St. Simeon and Tombs of the Nobles. A day-long felucca excursion to Seheyl Island can also be taken south, upstream, and out of central Aswan. The island is home to a Nubian town as well as a cliffside encrusted with engravings. The Famine Stele here describes the massive starvation that occurred during the reign of Pharaoh Zoser of the Third Dynasty.

Roadtrip to Abu Simbel

Visit Abu Simbel
Source: Earth Trekkers

If you only have enough energy for one road trip from Aswan, go to Abu Simbel. Built by Ramses II and saved from destruction by a significant UNESCO salvage project in the 1970s, Abu Simbel is not only a triumph of old design but also of modern design. The Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor on the banks of Lake Nasser dwarf everything else in Egypt and must be believed to be accepted.

The vast majority of visitors come to Abu Simbel on vacation. Because Abu Simbel is 280 kilometers south of Aswan, transportation in a minibus or vehicle will take close to three hours. This private day trip to Abu Simbel transports you by private vehicle to the site and includes a top-to-bottom tour of the sanctuaries lasting approximately three hours. Extra fees, lunch, and an local expertologist are all included. This comparable private Abu Simbel minibus visit transports you to the sanctuaries by minibus and includes passage and voyages through the two sanctuaries with an Egyptologist guide.

Boating in Aswan at Philae Temple

Boating in Aswan at Philae Temple
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The revered Philae Temple is one of Upper Egypt’s most astounding landmarks, both for the lovely imaginativeness of its reliefs and for the beautiful balance of its engineering, which made it a favorite subject of Victorian painters. The sanctuary, like Abu Simbel, was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser by UNESCO’s salvage project, which relocated the entire shooting match from its unique home on Philae Island to adjacent (higher) Agilika Island, where it now stands.

The Temple of Isis, a center for the ancient faction of Isis, is the main piece of the Philae complex, but the island also houses the Temple of Hathor, the Kiosk of Trajan, and various structures from the Roman and Byzantine epochs. You arrive at the island and its sanctuary complex by boat, allowing you to see a lot of Nile sights on the way and bring ventures back. The ticket office and wharf at Philae are located eight kilometers south of Aswan.

Visit the Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

obelisk
Source: my modern met

The renowned Unfinished Obelisk can be found in Aswan’s Northern Quarry, a 41-meter-long and four-meter-wide piece of stone that was most likely abandoned due to a break in the stone. When completed, the monolith would have weighed 1,168 tons and would have been the largest ever cut. There are numerous hints crafted by old stonecutters on the surrounding stone faces. The squares in this location would have been extracted from the stone by drilling openings along a recommended line, driving wedges into these, and then dousing the wedges with water to confine the square. From Aswan’s midtown area, you can easily stroll toward the Northern Quarry region.

St. Simeon

St. Simeon
Source: Sada el balad

The St. Simeon Monastery is situated between the sand rises on the Nile’s West Bank. It’s one of Egypt’s largest and best-protected Coptic religious communities, having been founded in the seventh century and deserted in the thirteenth century due to water shortages. An aisled Basilica occupies the southern side of the religious community within the cloister yard. The enormous apse, with three rectangular specialties under semi-broad vaults, is at the east end of the broad nave and covered by two arches. The remaining parts of a fresco depicting Christ enthroned between holy messengers can be found in the focal specialty.

Auxiliary structures and small grottoes can be found to the north and west of the congregation, while living quarters can be found to the east. Higher up are some more barrel-vaulted living quarters, including the priest’s cells, with block beds and Coptic and Arabic engravings on the dividers. Remaining on the religious community’s sustained dividers, ignoring the undulating rises, gives some sense of the detachment the priests who lived here most likely faced. Today, you can hire a boat or felucca to take you to the cloister boat landing, and then either climb or ride a camel (30 minutes) into the sand to get there.

Experience camel riding on the West Bank of Aswan

Camel riding
Source: Katie Aune

Camel-riding is a picturesque way to travel between the Noble Tombs and the Monastery of St. Simeon on Aswan’s west bank. The journey across the desert plain, aided by brilliant sandhills, reveals the harsh desert climate that borders the Nile’s limited piece of lavish farmland. Camels can be recruited near the Tombs of the Nobles, close to the ship’s arrival. The visit to the religious community takes approximately 60 minutes. This camel journey is best done early in the day so that you are not riding during the most scorching part of the day’s heat. There are also camels available for hire at the felucca arrival dock near the cloister for a more limited camel ride. They can be reached via a series of steep flights of stairs just to one side of Gharb Aswan’s boat arrival. The main burial sites you visit are Tombs 25 and 26, which contain the remains of sixth tradition lead representatives Mekhu and Sabini. Both have fairly basic and generally worked creativity.

Tomb 31 is located on the way up to one side and is associated with Prince Sarenput II, a contemporary of King Amenemhet II of the twelfth tradition. This is one of the most extensive and well-protected burial grounds in the necropolis. After the burial chamber, there is a small passageway with three specialties on one or both sides. A short walk from here leads to the Tomb of Setka (First Intermediate Period), which contains severely damaged divider canvases with incredibly striking tones and is one of the few surviving examples of this period’s enlivening specialty. High Tea is served at the Old Cataract Hotel.

The Nubian Museum

Nubian Museum of Aswan
Source: Egypt Tours

Aswan’s somewhat phenomenal Nubian Museum is one of Egypt’s best and an absolute must for anyone interested in the experiences and culture of both ancient and modern Nubia. There is a large collection of antiques from the Kingdom of Kush (ancient Nubia) and a lot of brilliant high-contrast photographs of UNESCO’s fantastic venture to save Philae Temple and Abu Simbel from the rising waters of the dam (along with broad photographs of the enormous scope of other landmarks that are currently lost forever under the lake’s waters). A sculpture of Ramses II, a sculpture of Amenras, the top of the Shpatka, and the dark stone head of Tahraqa are among the relics in the historical center’s collection.

The ethnographic segment not only explains the historical context of Nubia and its relatives but also depicts dazzling painstaking Nubian work and societal craftsmanship. The drooping mud-block catacombs of Aswan’s Fatimid graveyard, just behind the Nubian Museum, are not to be missed. The burial ground overseers are happy to take visitors on tours and can bring you to the most fascinating catacombs. Remember to leave a small tip for them.

High Dam of Aswan

High Dam of Aswan
Source: Britannica

Aswan’s High Dam is Egypt’s most lauded but controversial project today. The dam, which began in 1960 and took 11 years to complete, was President Nasser’s pet project and most notable accomplishment, and it was completed with subsidizing and specialized assistance from the Soviet Union. The High Dam causes them to take astounding measurements. Its construction required 42.7 billion cubic meters of stone and measured 3.6 kilometers in length. The dam’s supply (Lake Nasser) has a typical limit of 135 billion cubic meters, with a maximum limit of 157 billion cubic meters. The dam provided enormous benefits to the country, allowing reliable power to be distributed throughout the country and increasing the amount of arable land in Egypt.

Nonetheless, it also halted the yearly Nile flood, which treated rancher’s fields with their rich residue stores, and the construction of Lake Nasser washed away much of Upper Egypt’s enormous legacy as the waters rose. A four-lane highway stumbles onto the dam’s highest point, where a victorious curve and an engraving commemorating the completion and the participation of Egypt and the Soviet Union in its construction.

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