While the Temple of Kalabsha feels as though it has always rested here, it’s one of a number of temples that were moved when the Aswan High Dam flooded its original site, creating Lake Nasser. Highlights include a Nilometer—used to measure Nile flooding, a hypostyle hall with columns that show a Roman influence, and spectacular views over Lake Nasser and the dam from the roof. Look out for the god Mandulis, who’s depicted in a vulture-feather cloak.
Things to know before you go
- Much less crowded than Philae Temple, the Temple of Kalabsha is a great choice for travelers who like to get off the beaten track. The rooftop views make it a must for photographers.
- Admission tickets are reasonably priced. Bring Egyptian pounds and pay cash on arrival.
- The sun in Aswan can be intense. Wear a hat and sunscreen, and bring water.
- Access to the temple is usually by small motorboat, which is a challenge for wheelchair users. Surfaces are uneven and the roof is accessed by stairs.
How to get there
Kalabsha Temple sits on an island known as New Kalabsha, below the Aswan High Dam, just off the west bank of Lake Nasser, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of central Aswan. There’s no public transport to the site, so most travelers visit on a tour, often taking in Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple too.
When to get there
The Temple of Kalabsha is open regularly throughout the week from morning until late afternoon, and it rarely gets crowded. In the summer, visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon to beat the midday heat.
Beit el-Wali Temple
Philae Temple and the Abu Simbel Temples are the most famous of the temples that were moved in the 1960s to save them from being flooded by the Aswan High Dam. Don’t miss the little temple of Beit el-Wali, behind Kalabsha Temple. Carved into a cliff by Ramses II—who built the Abu Simbel Temples—it’s 1,300 years older than Kalabsha, but the frescoes inside still hold their color.
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