Philae Island is one of the most attractive places in Egypt and Aswan. It contains a large number of temples, but the most important one is Isis temple.
This island is a place for all the ancient religions. It was built by the ancient Egyptians in the early 4th century BC and the Ptolemaic dynasty and Romans added a lot to its construction. The construction extended until the third century AD by the early Christians.
It is called “Philae” or “Philay”, which means “beloved”. The Arabic name for it is Anas el-Wugood in relation to the legend of Anas el-Wugood in the stories of Arabian nights.
The ancient Egyptian and Coptic name of the island is “Pelak”, which means the border or end, as Philae Island is the last border of Egypt in the south.
About 899 kilometers away from the capital Cairo, Philae Island is located in the heart of the Nile in the city of Aswan, southern Egypt.
The unique geographical location of the island separates the Nile into two opposite channels, in addition to being one of the most important archaeological areas in the city of Aswan.
The island has a mild and dry climate, as it locates on the eastern bank of the Nile, making it one of the most important winter resorts in southern Egypt.
It is also the link between Egypt and Sudan, as it is considered the Egyptian gateway to the African continent.
During the works of the ancient Christians on the island, there was a distortion happened to some of the inscriptions of the temples, as they themselves added some of the Christian inscriptions on these temples; such inscriptions were exposed also to the distortion throughout eras.
The most beautiful matter in the trip to the Philae Island is that the visitors have to use the Nile boats to reach to Nectanebo Hall and from which they can go to halls and temples of the island.
If you want to go to Isis temple, which is considered the most famous and exciting temple, you have to go to the north of the island from Nectanebo Hall.
This temple is bordered by rows of columns on both sides, from which you can access the towers of the first pylon to see the Mammisi, or house of birth, which was dedicated to god Horus.
In the house of birth, the ancient Mammisi rituals were held to celebrate the birth of the idol Horus, while the kings were keen to participate in these rituals in order to confirm their belonging to the dynasty of the Son Isis temple occupies about a quarter of Philae Island’s area.
The Isis temple on the island was built for worshiping goddess Isis, where it was believed that she found the heart of her husband, Osiris, after he was killed and cut off by his brother, god Seth, the evil god, thus the temple was a witness to the worship of the idol Isis.
Among the other monuments, you can see the shrine of King Nectanebo I of the 30th Dynasty, two columns dating back to the Roman era, temple of Arsenovis, which is a Greco-Roman temple, and the temple of Mandulis of the Roman era.
On Philae Island, you can also visit the temple of Amenhotep, which indicates that this archaeological site was used by the pharaohs before the Ptolemaic and Romans.
The temple of Hathor on the island is one of the most important temples that visitors are keen to visit, as it is considered the second important temple after Isis temple and the last Ptolemaic archaeological monument.
The visitors pay a great attention to its inscriptions, especially which added by the Euregites II before the year 116 BC.
In 550 AD, under the rule of Justinian, Christianity reached the Philae Island and it started a new era in its history. The halls of the temple became a place for the practice of the new religion.
Stones were also moved from some monuments for constructing the Christian churches. When Islam came, Muslims of the Mamluk, Fatimid, and Ottoman-era considered it as a legendary fortress.
After the completion of construction of the High Dam, the situation changed in the island and it became at the risk, as the island locates between the new dam and the old dam, the matter that might lead to its sink.
In cooperation with UNESCO and international experts in transferring the temples, the temples on Philae Island were dismantled and reconstructed on a neighboring island, which is called Agelica.
This island was prepared to resemble the original island as much as possible. The temples of the Philae are in a safe position now from the dangers of water.