Philae Temples

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Philae Temples
are special

This stately temple complex on a Nile island once drew pilgrims from the far reaches of the Ancient Egyptian and Roman empires. Today, the Philae Temples are one of Egypt's popular tourist draws.

Philae Temples
tips and insights

How to pronounce

Philae = fye-lee


By far the biggest and most significant building is the one dedicated to the goddess of Iris (see photo). Other major structures include the Kiosk of Trajan and the temples dedicated to Isis' husband Osiris and son Horus.

History in brief


Early history

The major structures were built over eight centuries, from the 4th century BC Ptolemaic era into Roman times.

Middle history

In the 6th century, the Temple of Isis was converted into a church. In the 7th century, it became a mosque. Over the ensuing years the site gradually fell into disuse except as a tourist curiosity.

Recent History

The Philae Temples became partially inundated annually from January to March when the Aswan Low Dam was built in the early 1900s.

Then, decades later, when the new Aswan High Dam was built, the entire island faced total and forever submersion.

The buildings were rescued by dismantling and reassembling them on a nearby higher island (which was renamed "Philae", the name of the old and now submerged island).

Convenient location

The island is close to Aswan city, the starting or ending river port of most Nile Cruises.

The Philae Temples venue is typically combined with a worthwhile stop at the immense, world-renowned Aswan High Dam.

And the gold-medal winning Hillman wonder Abu Simbel is within day-trip range of Aswan.

Location in Egypt

Read about each of Egypt's top 7

Pyramids of Egypt at Giza
Karnak Temple
Nile River Cruise
Egyptian Museum
Valley of the Kings
Abu Simbel
Luxor Temple


Photo by Dennis Jarvis - CC BY-SA 2.0



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