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About Aswan

Aswan is located in the south of Egypt, some 680 km (425 miles) south of Cairo, just below the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser. Compared to Cairo and Luxor, Aswan is a far more relaxed, if smaller, alternative as a traveller's destination.

Aswan is the smallest of the three major tourist cities based on the Nile. Being the furthest south of the three, it has a large population of Nubian people, mostly resettled from their homeland in the area flooded by Lake Nasser. Aswan is the home of many granite quarries from which most of the Obelisks seen in Luxor were sourced. Aswan was the ancient Egyptians' gateway to Africa.

Aswan Town and the East Bank
* Nubian Museum, located opposite the Basma Hotel, south of the Old Cataract Hotel, at the southern edge of Aswan town on Sharia Abtal al-Tahrir - approximately a half hour walk from the city centre.
* Unfinished Obelisk, gives a glimpse into the way these structures were constructed.

The River and Islands
* Sehel Island - Well known for its excellent beaded jewelry. Also the location of the Famine Stela.
* Elephantine Island - The local Nubian villages of Siou and Koti occupy this island. Also home to the famous Nilometers and the Temples of Sati, Khnum and Pepinakht-Heqaib.
* Kitcheners Island - Also known as Plantation Island: has wonderful botanical gardens amidst the Nile.

West Bank
* Tombs of the Nobles
* Kubbet el-Hawa - on top of the hill above the Tombs of the Nobles is to be found a small shrine / tomb of a local sheikh and holy man.
* Mausoleum of the Aga Khan
* Monastery of St Simeon

Around Aswan
* The High Dam - The Aswan High Dam is a vast structural locality on the river Nile, just south of the city of Aswan in Egypt. As one of the great (if enduringly controversial) engineering feats of the late 20th century, the Aswan High Dam is a great drawcards for Egyptians and foreign travellers alike.
* Philae Temple - Built to honor Isis, this was the last ancient temple built in the tclassical Egyptian architectural style. Construction began in approx 690 BC. It was moved from its original location on Philae Island, to its new location on Agilkia Island, after the flooding of Lake Nasser. A major multinational UNESCO team relocated Philae, and a number of other temples that now dot the shores of Lake nasser. You can see the submerged original island a short distance away, punctuated by the steel columns used in the moving process. Don't miss the Sound and Light show at night, see picture to the right, the least cheesy of the Sound and Light "extravaganzas". On your feet, look out for the extremely creative guards who will do all in their power to get in your photos, or to point out the hieroglpyhs that you can quite clearly see yourself, all for some baksheesh(tip)! Note also the re-use of the temple as a Christian church, with crosses carved into the older hieroglyph reliefs, and images of the Egyptian gods carefully defaced. There are grafitti dating from the 1800s.
* Kalabsha Temple - Like Philae this temple and its surrounding ruins were moved by UNESCO to save them from the floodwaters of Lake Nasser. The main temple was built to the Nubian fertility and sun god Marul during the rule of Emperor Augustus. Don't miss the Kiosk of Qirtasi and the amazing Temple of Beit al-Wali built by Ramesses II.
* Abu Simbel - Most people use Aswan as a base to see this fantastic temple. There is a convoy that departs at 3am, and is usually arranged by your hotel. See article for more details

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