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map of Aswan
Map of Aswan
Aswan is the southernmost city in Egypt, and had the name Abu ("elephant") in Ancient Egypt. It was also called Swenet, and in Coptic the city was named Sawan which later has become today's name Aswan.

Here in Aswan the first cataracts in the Nile is found when coming from north and up the river, and this formed the borderland to the Nubian kingdom. Today's Aswan is by many considered one of the most beautiful plackkkkkkkkes on earth, as did late Aga Khan who chose Aswan as his winter resort and burial place. The high dam is along with tourism the most important resource for the area, and the gigantic Lake Nasser starts in Aswkan, created by the second dam that was built in the late sixties.

road to the monastery in Aswan   remains of the monastery

The city was during Pharaonic times located on the island Elephantine while today's Aswan is on the east bank of the Nile.

The photo here show the westbank in Aswan and the way up to the ruins of St. Simeon monastery.

road to the monastery in Aswan   Kitchner botanical island

The botanical garden in Aswan is located on the island Bustan which Lord Kitchener was given after a military operation in Sudan. Many of the trees and plants comes from tropical Africa and planted here upon orders from Lord Kitchener.

view over Aswan   View over Aswan

The city of Aswan is as mentioned located on the east bank of the Nile, and along the Nilebank there is moored hundreds of Nilecruise ships. On the Nile it's always lively and lots of white sails moving between the many islands in Aswan.

view over Aswan   The unfinished obelisk

It's several granite quarries in Aswan from Pharaonic times. Most visited today is the northern quarry where a unfinished large obelisk of nearly 42 meters (138 feet) is found. When a crack appeared in the granite the work on the obelisk was abandoned. Today this unfinished obelisk is an excellent way to see how granite was taken out from the quarries in Aswan.

the old dam in Aswan   The old dam

The work with the old dam in Aswan was initiated by the British in 1898 and was completed in 1902. This dam put the beautiful Isis temple at Philae partly under water, so the temple was later moved to another island which today is the new home of this ancient temple.

the philae temple   The Philae temple

The temple to the goddess Isis, the so-called Philae temple had a strong cult status during Pharaonic times. This temple and the Amon temple in the oasis of Siwa is also the two last temples where priests practised the ancient religion before it became banned by the Roman Empire.

The old high dam   The Old dam

This photo shows the lake created by the old dam of 1902. The photo is taken from the new dam that was completed in the late sixties.

The Kalabsha temple   The Kalabsha temple

It's much heritage buried under the water in Lake Nasser, still many temples was saved during a grand cooperation between Egypt and Unesco.The Kalabsha temple was one of the many temples that was saved by moving it higher before the dam filled the area. The temples of Abu Simble is the most known of the saved temples, and daily there is Lake Nasser cruises between Aswan and Abu Simble.

8 - the road from Aswan and out to the international airport in Aswan.

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Arnvid Aakre is an indie-pendent artist, writer, and lecturer. World & web citizen. He do 'one-man' projects to larger projects (as his multi artists based "Hatshepsut Project", under UNESCO HQ in Paris, patronage). Now working on the art project LAFIAS. He lived 15 years in Egypt (Luxor and Cairo), but today the Nileviking family live in Bergen, Norway.