Philae - Temple of Isis

Historic Site in Aswān

Temple Of Isis At Philae
CC BY-SA 3.0 / GayleKaren

The Temple of Isis at Philae, built in Egypt’s Greco-Roman Period under the reign of Ptolemy II, honors the goddess Isis, as well as Osiris and Horus. The walls of the temple showcase scenes from Egyptian mythology, including Isis reviving Osiris, giving birth to Horus, and mummifying Osiris after his death.

The island of Philae has been revered as sacred to Isis since ancient times. Construction of the Temple of Isis was completed by Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his successor, Ptolemy III Euergetes. However, the decorations were never finished, with work dating from the period of the later Ptolemies and the reigns of Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius (27 BCE-37 CE). Later, Roman emperor Hadrian added a gate to the west of the complex. The temple complex also features smaller shrines dedicated to Egyptian deities, such as Imhotep, Hathor, Osiris, Horus, and Nephthys.

In 1918, British Consul Henry Salt and his assistant Giovanni Belzoni removed the obelisks located in front of the temple. The obelisks now reside in a garden in Dorset, England.

During the construction of the Aswan Dam from 1960-1970, the temple faced the risk of being permanently submerged. However, the joint efforts of the Egyptian government and UNESCO allowed for the area to be pumped dry, and the entire temple was relocated, piece by piece (consisting of 50,000 stones!), to a nearby island called Agilka, where it still stands today.

The Philae - Temple of Isis appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Aswān!

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Visiting Philae - Temple of Isis


7am-4pm Oct-May, to 5pm Jun-Sep


adult/child LE100/50

Address: Philae Temple, Aswan 1, Egypt
Duration: 2 hours

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