The History of the Philae Temple
There are a lot of attractive temples in Egypt but not as hypnotic or mesmerizing as the Philae temple. The temple was built between 380-362 BC by king Ptolemy II and many other kings from the Ptolemaic Era on a rocky island famous for being a center of trade, in the middle of the Nile River south of Aswan, known as “Apo” which means “Ivory” and also by the more common Greek name “Elephantine” to become a house of worship for“Isis” the deity of Motherhood, healing and birth. The temple was moved to the island Agilkia as a part of a rescue mission led by the UNESCO in the 60s because of the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
The Architecture of Philae Temple
The temple was built in the same architecture of Egypt new kingdom with some elements of the Greco-Roman period such as a Nilometer which was used to measure the Nile river’s clarity and the water level during the annual flood. It consists of two Pylons: the first pylon holds two towers, the Mamisi (the house where the divine birth of the sky Horus took place by his Mother Isis) and an open forecourt leading to the 2nd Pylon that holds a Hypostyle Hall with 10 columns and three vestibules leading the main sanctuary of deity Isis. The temple also had chapels for other deities like Osiris, Horus and Hathor, and monuments for the Roman period like the Kiosk of Trajan or small temples like the temple of Augustus. The temple is highly important as it is one of the last remaining places where the ancient Egyptian religion survived after the arrival of Christianity until 550 A.D. the early Christians transformed the temple to a church where they defaced many of the statues of the ancient gods and destroyed their imagery. The temple was able the survive from being submerged in water by being relocated to a new island that was shaped to resemble the original, as a result, the temple is able to reflect its true beauty once again.
Tours to Philae Temple
Philae temple is one of the most famous Egypt tourist attractions, where a lot of tourists prefer to visit it and discover the great ancient Egyptian civilization in this historical monument, so if you desire to explore Egypt, then check our Egypt private tour packages and Nile cruise to choose your trip.