Aswan is Egypt’s southern gate to Africa, it lies on the eastern bank of the Nile River.
Aswan has a universal fame thanks to its great history and magnificent geography. 7000 years ago, there in Aswan the greatest civilization on the Nile River had emerged.
In Ancient Egypt, Aswan was known as “Sono”; or the market, due to then being a commercial center for the convoys coming from and going to Nubia. During the Old Kingdom, Aswan played a great role in defending the country’s southern borders. Aswan was also the armies’ assembly center during the Middle Kingdom when kings tried to expand their rule towards the south, not to mention during fighting against Hyksos.
Ramses II, the third Pharaoh of the 19th ancient Egyptian dynasty, had two temples cut in the rocks in Abu Simple Area. The two temples were meant to make Nubia populated and reinforce the Egyptian sovereignty on it as well as to establish the Pharaoh’s being a God and commemorate his victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh. The two temples were completed in 1206 BC and were considered among the most magnificent temples of ancient Egypt. With their outstanding architecture, good scales, huge statues and the inscriptions adorning the walls, the two temples are the most spacious and beautiful of all Egyptian rock temples in all times.
Philae Island, the homeland of Goddess Isis, had also attracted the attention of the Ptolemaic so that they completed the construction of its huge Philae Temple.
In an attempt to get closer to the Egyptians, the Romans erected many Pharaonic-style temples. An example of those temples is a small one in Philae Island established by Emperor Trajan.
When Christianity became Egypt’s religion in the 5th Century AD, various Pharaonic temples were turned into churches.
Since the advent and spread of Islam, many writings in the Kofi calligraphy that date back to the 1st Century AH have been found in Aswan. Also, during the Islamic era and in the 10th Century AD, Aswan has flourished and became a road to the Red Sea coast, where ships used to sail to Hejaz, Yemen and India.
Moreover, Mohamed Ali Paha had also established the first military school in Egypt there in 1837. Aswan dam was completed in 1902 under the British mandate over Egypt. It was built to irrigate farmland and prevent flooding. The dam was later topped due to rising waters and rather than top it again, it was decided to build another, farther upstream. The High Dam was thus built, in the 1960s, and has aided Aswan historically and Egypt economically, including power generation.
Thus, making Lake Nasser the world’s largest man-made lake. It is characterized by its clear water and its banks are rich in natural wonders and ancient monuments. The Lake attracted many birds from remote African regions.