ASWAN — Lake Nasser

There are several places to visit that are close to Aswan that you can get to either on a tour that you can arrange through your hotel or the various tour agencies around town or you can make your own way by taxi or by hiring a felucca or motor boat.

The sights found around Lake Nasser are:
Lake Nasser
Temples of Kalabsha, Beit al-Wali and Kertassi

Lake Nasser

Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser is a huge reservoir that is the largest man-made lake in the world with an area of 5250 square kilometres. It was created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam across the waters of the Nile between 1958 and 1970 and was named after President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who initiated the High Dam project. Lake Nasser has a rather stark beauty because of the difficulty of building settlements around its edges but because of this the wildlife has flourished both on the land and in the water. Several luxurious cruise ships are allowed to travel on Lake Nasser taking 3 to 5 days and visiting the ancient temples that are found around the shores.

Temple of Kalabsha

Temples of Kalabsha, Beit al-Wali and Kertassi
These temples like others in this area had to be moved from their original locations due to the construction of the High Dam. They are now found on the west bank of Lake Nasser just south of the High Dam. Kalabsha Temple originally built at Kalabsha (Talmis) was moved to its present location at New Kalabsha (Chellal) in 1970. The sandstone monument was built by the Roman Emperor Octavius Augustus (30 to 14 BC) and dedicated to the goddess Mandulis (or Merwel who was the Nubian counterpart of Horus). It was the largest free-standing temple of Egyptian Nubia and its design is typical for the Ptolemaic period with pylons, courtyard, hypostyle hall and three room sanctuary but with a difference because here the Pylon is offset creating a trapezoid in the courtyard behind it. An impressive stone stairway leads up to the temple from the water.
The Temple of Beit al-Wali is very close to the Kalabsha Temple. It was built by Ramesses II and dedicated principally to Amun-Ra. Like Abu Simbel, it was carved from the sandstone hillside but is much smaller. Though the temple was altered during the Christian era, the brightly painted reliefs in the inner part of the temple are well preserved. The temple consists of a deep hall, a transverse antechamber with two columns and a sanctuary. The pathway along both inside walls of the deep hall would have originally been roofed over with a vault, while the central portion of the hall would have been open to the sky. The reliefs found on the temple walls depicts Ramses’ victory over the Nubians and his wars against the Syrians and Libyans.
To the south of the Kalabsha Temple are the remains of the Temple of Kertassi. The only pieces left are two Hathor-headed columns, a huge architrave and four decorated columns.
In the area between the temples you can find rocks with pre
To get to these temples you will either need to see them as part of a cruise on Lake Nasser for hire a boat from the shipyard on the western side of the High Dam and it will cost you around 25 to 30LE.

Traveller's Tip

Make sure you go up one of the stairs found at either end of the chamber after the hypostyle hall in the Temple of Kalabsha for a fantastic view of Lake Nasser and the High Dam.