Discover Philae Temple
A visit to Aswan is not complete without visiting the majestic Philae Temple. Because it is located on an island, you must first buy your entrance ticket on the mainland and then negotiate a boatride to the island. There are lots of boats to choose from so be sure to negotiate a good deal for yourself.
Wikipedia - Philae is an island in Lake Nasser, Egypt. It was formerly an island in the First Cataract of the Nile River and the previous site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex in southern Egypt. The complex was dismantled and relocated to nearby Agilkia Island during a UNESCO project started because of the construction of the Aswan Dam, after the site was partly flooded by the earlier Aswan Low Dam for half a century. Philae flooded by the Aswan Low Dam in 1906.
In 1902, the Aswan Low Dam was completed on the Nile River by the British. This threatened many ancient landmarks, including the temple complex of Philae, with being submerged. The dam was heightened twice, from 1907–12 and from 1929–34, and the island of Philae was nearly always flooded. In fact, the complex was not underwater only when the dam's sluices were open, from July to October.
It was postulated that the temples be relocated, piece by piece, to nearby islands, such as Bigeh or Elephantine. However, the temples' foundations and other architectural supporting structures were strengthened instead. Although the buildings were physically secure, the island's attractive vegetation and the colors of the temples' reliefs were washed away. Also, the bricks of the Philae temples soon became encrusted with silt and other debris carried by the Nile.
In 1960 UNESCO started a project to try to save the buildings on the island from the destructive effect of the ever increasing waters of the Nile. The temples had been practically intact since the ancient days, but with each inundation the situation worsened and in the sixties the island was submerged up to a third of the buildings all year round. First of all a large coffer dam was
built, constructed of two rows of steel plates between which a million cubic meters of sand was tipped. Any water that seeped through was pumped away.
Next the monuments were cleaned and measured, by using photogrammetry, a method that enables the exact reconstruction of the original size of the building blocks that were used by the ancients. Then every building was dismantled into about 40,000 units, and then transported to the nearby Island of Agilkia, situated on higher ground some 500 metres (1,600 ft) away.