Aswan in Egypt is a fascinating place that most people do not know much about. In this article I will tell you about the top 10 most interesting facts about this unique travel destination. Ready to learn more about Aswan in Egypt? Read on…
- Facts about Aswan in Egypt
- 1. Aswan has One of the Largest Man Made Lakes
- 2. Initial Inhabitants of Aswan were Nubians
- 3. Aswan is Also Known as the Gateway to Africa
- 4. Aswan is Home to a Rare and Mysterious Island
- 5. Raining is Nearly Impossible in Aswan
- 6. Abu Simbel and Philae Temple Have Been Relocated
- 7. Aswan Produces Amazing Dates
- 8. The Unfinished Obelisk Is in Aswan
- 9. Aswan is a Part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
- 10. Aswan Also has a Beautiful Botanical Garden
- Aswan in Egypt- Bottom Line
Facts about Aswan in Egypt
Located in the southern part of Egypt, Aswan is a beautiful destination but is often overlooked due to other attractions nearby. The city has several hidden facts that many would not be aware of. If you’re planning your next trip to Aswan in Egypt, you need to know these fascinating things to make the most out of your trip.
To make your trip worth remembering, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten things most people don’t know about Aswan in Egypt. So, get ready to be amazed as we dive into the ancient myths and incredible UNESCO sites that will leave you in awe.
Located in the heart of Aswan in Egypt, Lake Nasser is one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. This artificial water reservoir stretches over 500 km and reaches a depth of 180 m. The lake gets its name after the President of Egypt, Gamal Abd El-Nasser. Lake Nasser was created during the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the late 1960s across the river Nile.
The area surrounding this enormous lake has a number of beautiful villages and towns to explore. You can also have some fun cruises along the lake by hopping on a boat trip or having a guided tour to check out the nearby places. To make your trip memorable, visit historical monuments like the Kalabsha Temple and Qasr Ibrim at Lake Nasser.
Furthermore, Lake Nasser offers visitors an amazing opportunity to try out fishing from the shore and the boat. The lake is also home to the Nile Perch, which is a prized fish and is also the last safe haven for the Nile crocodile.
So, many of us thought that Egyptians would have ruled Aswan in the past just like its other neighbouring cities. However, that is not the case at all! The early inhabitants of Aswan in Egypt were Nubians. These people used to live in Old Nubia in southern Egypt until the Aswan High Dam was constructed.
The Nubians were an interesting group of people having distinct ethnicity, culture, and language. They played a significant role in the development of ancient Egypt and were major contributors to trading throughout the region.
These people still reside in Aswan in Egypt and are proud of their traditions and way of life. Their traditional villages provide a beautiful insight into their way of living and culture. To have a glimpse of old nubia, visit the historical Nubian villages and make sure to click pictures outside the colorful Nubian houses.
Aswan is a picturesque landscape and an important hub for trade and commerce between Egypt and Africa. Being situated in the southernmost part of Egypt, Aswan crossroads several significant trade routes. Furthermore, the influence of varying cultures like Africa, Arab, and Nubia makes Aswan in Egypt an interesting city to explore.
If you have been considering exploring Africa, Aswan can be the perfect point to start with. Ferry rides across the Nile river to the city of Wadi Halfa in Sudan are surely an experience you would not want to miss out on.
With its colourful markets and gorgeous landscapes, Sudan is a gorgeous city. Moreover, the journey towards this stunning city is also no less than a treat for nature lovers. In short, this gateway to Africa is worth visiting.
4. Aswan is Home to a Rare and Mysterious Island
Another lesser-known fact about Aswan in Egypt is that it is home to one rare and mysterious elephantine island. And if you wish to see traditional Nubian culture, this is the island you need to visit!
Named after its resemblance to elephants in water, Elephantine island has a significant value in ancient Egyptian civilization. Egyptians believed that the God Khnum lived and controlled the river Nile from this island. On the island, you can explore ancient temples and museums that take you back to the old Nubian era. Sadly none of the temples here are in their original state and have been renovated with time.
Another popular tourist attraction on the island is the Nilometer. There are two nilometers located across the island. To this day, you can still spot the markings on the walls with measurements. Lastly, if you need souvenirs for your loved one, you can get them from the local street shops on Elephantine island.
You could never expect rain in Aswan, but if you come across such an instance, that would be a rare sight. Aswan in Egypt is a deserted region, and the chances of rain here are near zero, making it one of the driest cities in the world. It is known for its warm and sunny weather throughout the year.
If you prefer a sunny spot as a gateway, then Aswan is the right option to choose. The bright weather here is perfect for escaping the dull weather in other parts of the world. The lack of rainfall in the region has a significant impact on agriculture. Farmers have to rely on the Nile River for irrigation purposes.
While lack of rain might be a drawback to some, it is a blessing for others. The dry climate in Aswan is favorable for preserving ancient ruins and artifacts. For example, the dry climate helps to preserve the originality of the ancient temples of Abu Simbel. This has helped to keep these temples in their original state for over 3,000 years.
6. Abu Simbel and Philae Temple Have Been Relocated
Have you ever heard of temples being relocated from one place to another? Never right?!! However, Aswan in Egypt is among those cities in the world where temples have been relocated from their original location. Abu Simbel and Philae Temple are Aswan’s two most prominent ancient monuments that have been relocated to a new site.
Abu Simbel was originally located in a narrow gorge and was in danger due to the rise in water levels at Lake Nasser. In the 1960s, after much effort, the temple was dismantled and moved to a higher and safer place. Today you can visit this temple to look at the beautiful and unique architecture of ancient Egypt.
Philae Temple faced a similar fate and was threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The temple depicts amazing scenes from Egyptian mythology. You can visit this temple from 7 in the morning till 4 noon and admire ancient Egyptian monuments and scenic landscapes. Both temples are marvels of incredible engineering that have been preserved to showcase the heritage and achievements of the ancient Egyptians.
Aswan in Egypt is known for its palm trees which produce more than 27 different types of dates; these include the “Escoty,” “Mercabi,” and “Pertmod.” Furthermore, the city has been the second largest producer of dates after Al Wadi Al Gadid for more than thousands of years.
Dates here are considered an important part of the city’s cultural heritage. These fruits are rich in nutrients, so the locals have been using them as healthy snacks for a long time. When visiting Aswan in Egypt, make sure to try out all the varieties of dates available.
You can find them on almost every corner of the city in any form, and every local street shop is stocked with dates, so you never have to worry about the stock running out.
Because of the abundance of dates, many of their traditional dishes are made using these fruits. You will find a lot of Egyptian delicacies with a hint of dates at every other restaurant. So, next time you plan your trip here, don’t forget to treat your taste buds with the incredible and unique flavors of these savory delights.
8. The Unfinished Obelisk Is in Aswan
Apart from ancient temples, delicious dates, and picturesque Nubian villages, Aswan in Egypt has another hidden monument, the unfinished Obelisk. Located in the northern region of Aswan lies the unfinished Obelisk.
Not only is its presence mysterious, but its age dating back to 3,500 years ago, is another surprising fact. Ancient Egyptians initially estimated its length to be 137 feet tall and its weight to be around 1,200 tons.
This Obelisk would have been the largest one on earth if it had been completed. So, why was this piece of art abandoned and left uncompleted? Some legends believe this Obelisk was left unfinished because it was too heavy to move. At the same time, other people believe that it had some cracks that were impossible to fix.
Regardless of the reason, this unfinished Obelisk is a popular tourist attraction. To reach there, you have to walk through a delicately carved wooden staircase that will lead you to the Obelisk.
If you visit this mystical location, you will still spot the marks of chisels left on the monument. Even some huge marvels of today’s world can’t compete with the intricate work done on this Obelisk. For history enthusiasts, this is a must-visit place.
Aswan in Egypt has been a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network along with 300 other cities from all across 90 countries. The city has contributed greatly to the creative economy thanks to its cultural offerings, including folklore music and traditional crafts. Some significant arts practiced here include hand-woven textiles, pottery, and jewelry.
All of these artifacts have been manufactured by local artisans using traditional techniques. You can find artists in the city that will allow you to look at the hard work that goes into manufacturing all of their artifacts.
Apart from being a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Aswan in Egypt is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Sanctuary of Isis and the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel are magnificent archeological sites. So you better note down all these UNESCO heritage and other creative production sites on your bucket list to admire the ancient civilization!
10. Aswan Also has a Beautiful Botanical Garden
Among its many attractions is an undercover treasure that many tourists might not be aware of, the Aswan Botanical Garden. This lush green garden is a stunning oasis located on Kitchener’s island in the middle of the Nile River. This not-so-tiny island was first gifted to British Lord Kitchener for his military services in Sudan.
He took the opportunity willingly and built a fine-looking house with a botanical garden over the island. Plants and flowers were transported from all over the world, including Malaysia and India, to Kitchener’s island. The garden might have lost some of its glory, but even today, it is home to many birds and hundreds of plant species.
The island is also called the Geziret el Nabatat in Arabic, which, when translated into English, means the island of the plants. Luckily it is open to the public, and you can enjoy a walk among these exotic plants and trees.
Aswan in Egypt- Bottom Line
To sum it up, Aswan in Egypt has many treasures to explore. Whether you are a history buff or just a seasonal traveler, this city has everything for everyone. After you are done with your Egyptian expedition, why don’t you explore the hidden treasures of Africa? If you are ready, don’t skip reading the articles below before you jump on your African adventure.