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For centuries oases and temples have been an important part of the Egyptian tapestry. There was a time when the Nubian Temples were once situated in between the areas where the Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser is now located. When the Aswan High Dam was built circa 1900s all the Nubian temples was relocated to higher ground within a four year span.
This is a project that was undertaken by the United Nationals Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). While UNESCO were able to retrieve some of these temples and relocate them locally and even in other countries like Spain, Germany and the United States there are still some temples that remain at the bottom of Lake Nasser even today.
Back then temples were constructed to honour Pharaohs, male and female deities and other religious and mythological figures. Rocks and stones were the materials used in construction so that the buildings would last for years to come. On these stone walls one could see different scenes which were carved and later enhanced with brilliant coloured paints. Some of these scenes on the temple walls included fighting Pharaohs to rituals being performed by the deities.
Most temples have an outer and inner layer and while the outer portion was said to be for the beginning initiates, the inside area was reserved for the proven ones to enter.
As the years went by, the construction of temples became more complex and detailed in design at the same time. These days no matter where you go in Egypt you are sure to see a temple. This is because it was a tradition to build temples to honour the gods of each city. These temples were also meant to allow the public to communicate with different gods. Overtime temples were also used in part as tombs as priests got involved.
The Nubian Temples were built by Egyptian kings in the lower Nubian of the Nile and one of the more popular Nubian temples is the Abu Simbel temple near Aswan. Consisting of two temples, the temple is perched above the Aswan High Dam reservoir and is a tribute in part to Pharaoh Ramesses II and Amun Re. The smaller of the temple is dedicated to Pharaoh Ramesses Queen Nefertari as well as Hathor. Visitors to Abu Simbel temple would see the several monuments of the Pharoah and his lady Nefertari throughout the temples. Elsewhere in Egypt are oases which seem to be natures own idea of the perfect elixir for relaxation. Most of these oases are found along the wide expanse of the Western Desert Oases in Egypt and the space is shared with Bedouins who also call this area home.
One of the most fascinating sites in Egypt is the many intricate designs of temples there and not to mention the natural beauty of the oases. Visited my many tourists from around the world, the Nubian temples and oases are truly the gems of Egypt. Some of the popular Nubian temples visited include Qasr Ibrim (Arabic for fortress of Ibrim) which is the only temple remained even during the Nile flood.
Qasr Ibrim can be found in the middle of Make Nasser and it is said to be the place that holds an abundance of Old Nubian documents. Dakka is one of the few temples to be relocated in the 1960s. Dedicated to the god of wisdom named Thoth, it was the Ptolemaic kings who assisted in adding to the temples original structure which started in the year 220 BCE.
By the time the Roman period came around Emperors Augustus and Tiberius later enhanced the temple with a granite sanctuary, enclosure and inner walls with pylon. Another temple that is definitely a must-see is the Temple of Deer which is situated at its new location in New Amada. This temple pays homage to the sun god named Re and it was constructed by Ramesses II. At this temple one would find several statues of Amun-Re and Ramesses II as well as that of Ptah.
Take a break from visiting the Nubian temples if only to see the oases that is here. Your first visit should be to the Siwa Oasis which is one of the largest of its kind in Egypt and one that boasts of having olive orchards and palm groves that are in abundance. There is also the Siwa House of Ethnographic Museum so that visitors can learn more about this oasis. Hot and cold springs as well as olive trees can be found in the Bahariya Oasis. Located just 300 miles from Cairo, visitors can overnight here and set out in the morning to the museum where Greco-Roman mummies are on display.
Mangoes and dates are some of the food that is grown here in this quiet side of Egypt. Finally, compared to the other oases in Egypt, Farafra is the smallest and is located close to the Libyan border and the Nile. There is a hot spring here and visitors are always enthralled by the White Desert which showcases white and cream coloured chalk rock formation.