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Big Dam and Temple

Aswan Travel Blog

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Sailing out to the Philae temple

The first Egyptian temple I ever visited was in an unusual spot - it was in the middle of Madrid in Spain - and not in Egypt. So what is an Egyptian temple doing in Madrid - the ancient Egyptians never made it all the way to Spain to settle down and build temples there?

 

The reason is the place I am going to see now. When president Naser decided to build the Aswan dam the level of the Nile would rise significantly. This would mean several old temples would be flooded. The Spanish government decided to help Egypt move these old temples to higher ground to preserve them for prosperity. This was done with several temples and to show their appreciation the Egyptian government wanted to give a gift to the Spanish people - and what did the people of Spain need.

The main temple
The answer was obvious every country need an old Egyptian temple - hence they took one minor temple down transported it to Madrid and rebuild it in the centre of Madrid.

 

So I took the short sail across Lake Naser to see the Philae temple. It is not one of the most impressive temples around Egypt but it has got a special story the way it was moved from its original location to a new island. The original island where it was build had a flat top. When they found a new island to move the temple it did not have a flat top - then what do you do - you level the island to produce an artificial flat island.

 

The Philae temple is a nice temple but I could not help but feel there is a bit of the magic missing - when you moved it to the new location it also took away a part of the aura of the place having been there for millennia.

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Sailing out to the Philae temple
Sailing out to the Philae temple
The main temple
The main temple
A small temple on the island
A small temple on the island
A look at the some of the carvings…
A look at the some of the carving…
Aswan
photo by: Vikram