Aswan – Nile River: Temple of Goddess Isis (Philae) – Holy of Holies

360° panorama by Mohamed Attef.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan . It was called in Hieroglyphic "Apo" which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek "Elephantine", most probably because it was an important centre of trade, especially for ivory.The Ancient Egyptians built a beautiful and magnificent Temple on this island for the Goddess Isis, but the Temple became submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906, and it was not until the seventies that many nations attempted to save the Temple. All these countries, together with UNESCO, selected a suitable place, but they had to wait until the completion of the High Dam, in 1971, which would stabilize the level of the water around their chosen island. The new island was called Egilica (also called Agilika), and it was completely reshaped to imitate Philae Island as closely as possible. Isis is a very important figure in the ancient world. She is associated with funeral rites but as the enchantress who resurrected Osiris and gave birth to Horus she is also the giver of life, a healer and protector of kings. She was known as ‘Mother of God’ and was represented with a throne on her head. During the Roman period her cult spread throughout Greece and the Roman Empire. There was even a temple dedicated to her in London.

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