Located about 899 km south from Cairo, Aswan is a serene Nile Valley destination where the Nile is more majestic than anywhere else, flowing through granite rocks, and round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants. It is considered as an all-time favourite winter destination.
Aswan, a city on the Nile River, has been southern Egypt’s strategic and commercial gateway since antiquity. It contains significant archaeological sites like the Temple of Philae, on Agilkia Island near the landmark Aswan Dam. Philae’s ruins include the columned Temple of Isis, dating to the 4th century B.C. Downriver, Elephantine Island holds the Temple of Khnum, from the Third Dynasty.
Moreover, you'll be surprised to see how many monuments and sites this small city has to offer. Consider sailing to the temple of Philae, seeing the Agha Khan Mausoleum and taking an excursion to St. Simeon’s Monastery.
Egypt's sunniest southern city is the perfect destination to stroll and relax in a magical cultural setting: wander down the broad walkway, locally known as the corniche, to watch feluccas slowly sailing the Nile then stop at one of the floating restaurants to enjoy Nubian music and freshly caught fish. Aswan offers a splendid view of the Nile and is a great starting point for a Nile cruise.
Aswan also offers a rich cultural experience; you’ll get to know Nubian culture and shop for spices, henna tattoos, souvenirs and African handmade goods at the Aswan souk. The word Aswan derives in fact from the Ancient Egyptian word “Soun” meaning souk or trade. It has earned its name thanks to the city’s strategic position, on the trade route linking the North of Egypt to its South.
Text refernce: part of text from Egyptian tourism agency
Gharb Aswan is not a place where tourists go usually, its where Nubians live, who had to leave their villages south of Aswan, after the building of the highdam. Who built new homes in their old traditonal architectural style with cupolas, painting most of the houses blue or yellow. Its not a place you will find in your guidebook, but its beautiful to make photos there and to get an insight near Aswan about a non-touristic Nubian Village. Gharb Aswan (in English: West Aswan) is north from Aswan on the west bank: Nubian villages with more than 10.000 inhabitants. On the way to one of the the villages one could see until 2011 cows moving wheels to pump water for the fields. When I visited Gharb Aswan the first time I had been so fascinated, I sat down and watched the water mill, making photos and finally I had to leave again, without visiting the village itself, because it became so hot I just needed to swim. Unfortunately for travelers and photographers the water mills are not working anymore with cows but have all been exchanged to water pumps working with fuel. source: www.aswan-individual.com
Always a nice sight from Aswan across the Nile are the tombs of the nobles, the oldest being more than 4.000 years old. You can visit the different tombs, a lot of them with well preserved reliefs and paintings You will find these graves from south to north: Mechu und Sabni (6. dynasty, etwa 2325 bis 2175 BC) - Sarenput II (12. dynasty, um 1938 bis 1755 BC) - Her-Chuf (6. dynasty) - Pepinacht (6. dynasty) - Sarenput I (12. dynasty). Right on the top there is the cupola of the Sheik-tomb Qubbet el Hawa (Dome of the Winds), from where you have a terrific view all over Aswan, the Nile and the dessert
Animalia - sweet "homemade" museum on Elephantine to explain about immigration of Nubians, their life and environment. Animalia is a "centre of information about life in Nubia and Elephantin (Nature and Culture)"...This is a small but charming museum run by Mohamed Sobhi, a Nubian guide, and his family, who have dedicated part of their large house to the traditions, flora, fauna and history of Nubia. It has a collection of stuffed animals found in Nubia, samples of sedimentary rocks, great pictures of Nubia before it was flooded by Lake Nasser, a small shop selling Nubian crafts at fixed prices, and a lovely roof terrace where drinks and lunch are served overlooking the gardens. Animalia consists of three parts:The Nubian House, Museum and the roof. Nubian House: Daily life objects (water jars, oven, hand mill, grain stores and kitchen plate of pottery) - Wall paintings and its meanings - Date palm tree products (fiber, trunk, leaves, fromds and seeds). The Museum: Ceartures of the area (Birds, animals, reptiles, insects and fish "mumified") - Desert in Nubia: the rocks and - stones in Nubian desert (sedimentary and volcanic) - Crocodiles (alive and "mumified") - Importance of women in Nubia - Modern history of Nubia: Inundation by Lake Nasser and resettlement in Kom Ombo. On the roof: Cafeteria and panoramic If you like you can order Nubian lunch in advance
Gharb Soheil is a village located south of Aswan, and is considered one of the few places left in Egypt whose nature, wildlife and simple beauty remains almost untouched. This tiny village was once worshiped by one of the earliest Egyptian deities, Khnum, the god of the source of the Nile. Due to its rich Nubian culture and unrivaled scenery, it has been slated as a tourist destination, where travelers can spend a day exploring Nubian society. Local residents, though, want to maintain their village precisely as it is: a simple town unblemished by large-scale, commercial tourism, which can pose a serious threat to local ecosystems and environments. Other activities include sand boarding, desert hiking, and taking sand or mud baths. A souk with local crafts is available for shopping and tourists can get a traditional henna tattoo done as well. Visitors can also indulge in Nubian cuisine, coffee, music and dance, but most importantly, they can take the chance to visit different Nubian homes and learn more about their daily life.
The Nubian Museum (officially the International Museum of Nubia) is an archaeological museum located in Aswan, Upper Egypt. It was built to a design by architect Mahmoud El-Hakim . Dedicated to Nubian culture and civilization, it was inaugurated on November 23, 1997. it cintain three thousands pieces of antiquities, representing various ages; Geological, Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic, were registered. The open-door exhibition includes 90 rare monumental pieces, while the internal halls contain 50 invaluable pieces dating back to pre-historic times, 503 pieces belong to the Pharaonic period, 52 to the Coptic era, 103 to the Islamic age, 140 to the Nubian era, in addition to 360 pieces reflecting the history of Aswan.
The Mausoleum of Aga Khan is the mausoleum of Aga Khan III, Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, who died in 1957. The mausoleum is located at Aswan, along the Nile of Egypt, since Egypt was formerly the centre of power of the Fatimids. The mausoleum is built in the style of the Fatimid tombs in Cairo. It is built of pink limestone, while the tomb is built of white Carrara marble. The Aga Khan was buried there two years after he died, since he used to spend part of the winter season living in a nearby villa. A red rose is laid on the Aga Khan's tomb everyday- a practice first started by the Aga Khan's wife.
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