The Temple at Philae is particularly striking because, unlike most Egyptian temples, it was build on an island. This was likely due to Greek influence since it was constructed during the reign of the Ptolemies, the Greeks who ruled Egypt after the coming of Alexander the Great.

Approaching the Island

When the waters of Lake Nasser began to rise after the construction of the Aswan Dam, it was discovered that Philae Temple was in danger of being forever submerged. Plans were proposed to build a cofferdam around the temple, but this was rejected and the entire temple was moved to higher ground.

As you approach the temple, it is laid out in the typical Egyptian design that had not changed in a thousand years, yet there are subtle differences that bespeak the Greek influence.

Inner Court

Once again, there are giant columns in the inner court holding up the roof of the great house.

Holy of Holies

In the innermost part of the temple is the inner shrine, the holy of holies. The walls are adorned with carvings, as is the rest of the temple, and the furniture consists of a single stone altar in the middle of the room.

Kiosk of Trajan

Kiosk of Trajan

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