The Isis Temple in Philae is another temple that was saved from inundation by the reservoir, the Aswan Low Dam in this case. It is a beautiful temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis. Like the Horus Temple in Edfu and the temple of Kom Ombo, the Isis Temple was built in Ptolemaic times. It closely follows the same lay-out. The oldest remains were built by Nectanebo I (380 - 362 BCE). Most of the rest was started by Ptolemaios II Philadelphus (285 - 246 BCE). New parts were added till the reign of Diocletian (CE 284 - 305). Isis was worshiped there as late as 550 CE, when the emperor Justinian closed the temple.

The early Christians transformed the main temple's hypostyle into a chapel, they built some churches, and defaced the old reliefs. Their inscriptions in turn were defaced by the early Muslims.

After landing from your boat trip, you come to the Outer Temple Court, with colonnades along both sides. The entrance to the main temple is through two huge 18 m (59 ft) high pylons. They are decorated with huge reliefs of Ptolemaios XII (Cleopatra's father), smashing his enemies.

In the Great Court is the mammisi (birth house), dedicated to Horus. Each Pharaoh would take part in the mammisi ritual to establish his legitimacy.

The second pylons lead to a 10 column hypostyle hall, and from there into the Inner Sanctuary of Isis, where the gold statue of the Goddess Isis used to stand.

I also visited the Isis Temple at night for a light show. It was very scenic to see the lighted temple at night.

The Isis Temple in Philae is part of the Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Philae Temple of Isis

Isis Temple Philae
Isis Temple of Philae. (662k)
Overall View Isis Temple
Overall view of the Isis Temple, with the first and second pylons. (702k)
Close-up Right Part First
Close-up of the right part of the first pylon, showing Horus and his mother Isis (left) and the Pharaoh Ptolemaios XII smashing his enemies. (711k)
View Left Part First
View of the left part of the first pylon, showing Isis (right) and the Pharaoh smashing his enemies. The left part of the pylon was defaced by early Christians, but the right part was mostly intact. (645k)
View Column Colonnade Outer
View of the column colonnade of the Outer Temple Court. (715k)
Column Colonnade Outer Temple
Column colonnade in the Outer Temple Court. Notice that each capital is different. (729k)
View Isis Temple Complex
View of the Isis Temple complex from the right side. (488k)
First Pylon Behind Column
The first pylon behind the column colonnade of the Outer Temple Court. (715k)
View Entrance Gate First
View through the entrance gate of the first pylon towards the second pylon. (927k)
Entrance Gate Second Pylon
Entrance gate in the second pylon. (844k)
View Isis Temple Complex
View of the Isis Temple Complex from the east side, with the Kiosk of Trajan in the foreground left. (589k)
Kiosk Trajan
The Kiosk of Trajan. (744k)
Kiosk Trajan
The Kiosk of Trajan. (642k)
View Columns
View of one of the columns. (719k)
Capital Columns
Capital of one of the columns. (656k)
Defaced Relief Pharaoh
The defaced relief of a Pharaoh. (864k)
Hieroglyphics Stone Horus Sun
Hieroglyphics stone with the Horus Sun Disk at the top. (1060k)
Relief Goddess Isis Nursing
Relief of the Goddess Isis, nursing her son Horus. (825k)
Decorations Columns
Decorations on one of the columns. (905k)
Early Christian Decorations
Early Christian decorations. (707k)
Early Christian Altar
Early Christian altar. (755k)
Inscriptions Early Explorers
Inscriptions of early explorers. (580k)
Defaced Reliefs Temple
Defaced reliefs in the temple. (1075k)
Relief Sacred Barge Used
Relief of the sacred barge that was used to transport the golden statue of the Goddess Isis to festivities. (634k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (853k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (748k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (839k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (458k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (501k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (527k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (418k)
Isis Temple Night During
Isis Temple at night during the light show. (474k)
First Pylon Night During
The first pylon at night during the light show. (706k)
Second Pylon Night During
The second pylon at night during the light show. (1416k)
Hypostyle Hall Night
The hypostyle hall at night. (1194k)
Kiosk Trajan During Light
The Kiosk of Trajan during the light show. (739k)
Huge Finely Carved Relief
Huge, finely carved relief of the Goddess Isis. (820k)
Relief God Horus Son
Relief of the God Horus, the son of the Goddess Isis. (830k)
Decorations Columns
Decorations on one of the columns. (879k)
Relief God Thoth
Relief of the God Thoth. (782k)

This page contains 40 pictures

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People
Nature in Egypt
Nature
Birds in Egypt
Birds in Egypt
Ancient Egypt Egypt
Egypt
Mytholopy in Ancient Egypt
Mythology
Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
Pharaohs

Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


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