The Temple of Philae lies on a small island on the river Nile, just a few kilometres away from the Egyptian city of Aswan. The construction of the Aswan Dam meant that the holy island of Philae was under threat from the waters of the Nile. However, due to a major international rescue operation, its temples and numerous buildings were relocated to the island of Agilkia.
The great Temple of Isis on Philae is acknowledged as one of the most well preserved Egyptian holy places dating from Ptolemaic times and some of its foundations are believed to derive from far older religious buildings. Next to the smaller Hathor Temple, 14 magnificent columns and capitals rise majestically into the sky.
The ‘Nilometer’ was reassembled on Agilkia. This device was the official measurement system for Egyptian taxes. Thus, the level of taxes was closely associated with the water level of the Nile.
Egyptian life was dominated by the Nile and thus the foundation of the development of ancient Egyptian culture was due to its life-giving presence.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.