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Destination Details

Aswan, Egypt

This group of temples were all saved from a watery end by UNESCO's rescue project and now sit on the banks of Lake Nasser. Kalabsha Temple is the best preserved of the three temples here and also the youngest, dating from the time of Roman Emperor Augustus. The most imposing monument in Nubia after the Temple of Abu Simbel, it was built on the site of an earlier temple founded by Amenhotep II and re-founded during the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The decoration was never completed and the reliefs that do exist are crudely executed. During the Byzantine era the temple was converted into a church.

Just to the northwest is the Temple of Beit el-Wali ("House of the Holy Man") built by Ramses II and consisting of a vestibule, transverse chamber, and sanctuary. There are lively historical reliefs throughout the interior depicting many of Ramses II's battles and triumphs including the king's triumph over the Kushites and his wars with the Syrians and Libyans.

Tiny Kertassi Temple sits just to the north and has two Hathor columns at the entrance and four other columns with elaborate floral capitals.

Taxis to Kalabsha can be easily hired in Aswan and a trip here is best combined with a visit to Philae.

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