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Kalabsha Temple

In this article, we delve into the captivating history and significance of Kalabsha Temple, a remarkable blend of Egyptian and Greek influences, relocated to protect its heritage near Aswan High Dam.

kalabsha temple - egypt tours portal
Overview
Kalabsha Temple
Location Near the Aswan High Dam, in Aswan
History Built During The Roman Age Around 30 BC
Relocation In the 1960s
Unique Feature Stone Causeway, Colonnaded Court

Summary

  • Kalabsha Temple is an impressive ancient site located near the Aswan High Dam in Aswan, Egypt, making it the first stop for Nile River Cruises on Lake Nasser.
  • The temple features a stone causeway leading to the first pylon and a colonnaded court with eight columned hypostyle halls adorned with captivating hieroglyphs and reliefs.
  • It was originally built in 30 BC during the Roman period to honor the Nubian sub-god Mandulis, atop an older sanctuary of Pharaoh Amenhotep II.
  • The temple offers historical records, including a Roman governor's order to ban pigs and inscriptions related to the Christian king of the Nubian kingdom of Nobatia.
  • Kalabsha Temple was relocated to its current location to protect it from Lake Nasser's rising waters after the Aswan High Dam's construction.
  • The temple represents a unique blend of Egyptian and Greek imagery and is famous for its well-preserved reliefs, columns, and its picturesque location on Lake Nasser.

The impressive Kalabsha temple is a wonderful site that is located within the view of the Aswan High Dam in Aswan and it is the first stop for any Nile River Cruise on Nasser Lake. Once you arrive there, you will walk along its bewitching stone causeway that leads to the temple’s first pylon. Then, you will pass a colonnaded court where there are 8 columned hypostyle halls. The amazing hieroglyphs & reliefs on its walls tell us a lot about the Greek Pharaohs and the ancient Egyptian gods & goddesses.

Location and How to Get Kalabsha Temple

Kalabsha Temple is found on the far southern end of Lake Nasser in proximity to the Aswan High Dam, just 50 km south of Aswan. In order to gain entrance to the temple, it is advised to book with a travel agency that will provide the most ideal vehicle with a skilled driver and knowledgeable tour guide.

History of Kalabsha Temple

History of Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal
History of Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal

Kalabsha temple was originally built around 30 BC during the Roman age, in the reign of Augustus which left it unfinished till this current day. It was built to honor the lower Nubian sub-god known as merul or mandulis which was made on top of an older sanctuary of Pharaoh Amenhotep II. This Temple is known to be 22 m wide and 76 m long, the structure may date to the Roman period but it holds a number of reliefs showcasing Horus coming out from the reeds across the wall of the inner curtain.

The temple holds a staircase that leads from the sanctuary chambers to the roof of the temple where everyone can have a magnificent view of the entire temple and the sacred lake. Inscribed across the temple's walls are a number of historical records showcasing a number of important information in 250 AD the famed Roman Governor Aurelius Besarion ordered the forbidden of pigs in the temple" as well as an informative inscription of the Christian king of the Nubian kingdom of NobatiaSilko dating to the 5th century that displays his victory over the Blemmyes and also an image of him as a Roman soldier on horseback. With incredible assistance from Germany, the temple was relocated to its current location to safeguard it from the dangerous rising waters of Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

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This relocation process took over two years in the 60s with support from all over the world. Kalabsha temple was the biggest free-standing temple in Egyptian Nubia which was rock-cut just like Abu Simbel. The Temple is considered a prime example of ancient Egyptian architecture found in Nubia. Egypt expressed great gratitude to Germany in 1971 for their pivotal role in rescuing the Nubian temples by gifting one of Kalabsha temple's gates. This gate has been housed in Berlin's Egyptian Museum since 1977, but plans are underway to move it to serve as the grand entrance to the 4th wing of the Pergamon Museum found in Berlin.

The Reasons for Building Kalabsha Temple

Reasons for Building Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal
Reasons for Building Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal

The temple of Kalabsha was built at the end of the Ptolemaic period and it was completed during the reign of Augustus, the Roman emperor. The temple was mainly dedicated to the Nubian god, Mandulis. After the construction of the High Dam, Kalapsha temple was relocated from its original spot around 30 miles to the south.

The temple of Kalabsha represents a unique combination of imagery of the ancient Egyptian & Greek themes, mythologies, and religion. The large Pylon of the temple is connected to the complex by a large wall. You can also enjoy an amazing view of the lake and the high dam from the temple’s roof by taking the stairs up to the upper part of the temple.

The Relocation Process of Kalabsha Temple

Relocation Process of Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal
Relocation Process of Kalabsha Temple - Egypt Tours Portal

Kalapsha temple was almost destroyed by the flooding waters of Lake Nasser but fortunately, it was moved & rescued with other monuments with the assistance of UNESCO in the 1960s, and that operation was mainly conducted by the German Republic. The temple of Kalabsha was originally located 56 km from Aswan and now if you decide to visit Aswan High Dam, you will be able to visit the temple with a pair of binoculars. During the process of the temple’s relocation, a granite gateway was discovered by the workers and it was offered to the Berlin Agyptisches Museum.

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You will find lots of amazing things to have a look at including a hypostyle hall, an open court, some impressive Ptolemaic columns, and some screen walls. The decorations inside reveal lots of secrets and information about the ritual scenes including the great Southern Egyptian gods like Khnum and Min.

Kalabsha Temple Facts

Kalabsha Temple Facts - Egypt Tours Portal
Kalabsha Temple Facts - Egypt Tours Portal
  • Kalabsha Temple is an excellent example of Roman-era temple architecture in Egypt, as it holds a massive sandstone outer enclosure wall with a pylon (entrance gate) and a courtyard the interior contains a hypostyle hall with columns and a sanctuary where the statue of the Nubian deity was once housed.
  • The temple is renowned for its well-preserved reliefs and inscriptions depicting various deities, pharaohs, and scenes from Egyptian mythology and history, one of which belongs to the Roman Emperor Augustus in the presence of Egyptian deities.
  • It was constructed during the Roman period around 30 BC to 14 AD  on the west bank of Lake Nasser, approximately 50 kilometers south of Aswan.
  • The primary deity worshipped at Kalabsha Temple is Mandulis, a Nubian form of the sun god Horus. Mandulis is often depicted as a human figure wearing a headdress with solar disks.
  • Kalabsha Temple is a popular tourist attraction in the Aswan region due to its possession of well-preserved reliefs, columns, and the beautiful surroundings of Lake Nasser.
  • The temple is found next to a number of great temples which include the Beit el-Wali Temple and the Kiosk of Qertassi, which have been moved to a higher ground during the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
  • The relocation and restoration of Kalabsha Temple were part of Egypt's commitment to preserving its cultural heritage. These efforts ensure that future generations can continue to appreciate the historical and architectural significance of this ancient temple.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Finest Destinations to Visit in Egypt?

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.

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If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.

What Is the Top Traditional Egyptian Food?

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

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Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.

What to Wear While in Egypt?

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.

What are the Best Activities to Do in Egypt?

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

What are Egypt Festival and Public Holidays?

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.

What are Special Advice for Foreign Women in Egypt?

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

What are the Official Languages of Egypt?

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

What is the Transportation in Egypt?

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

What is the Weather is Like?

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

What are the Reasons That Make You Visit Egypt?

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

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