Aswan is the largest city in the southern part of Egypt. It lies on the Nile, and in its vicinity there are two huge dams and the Aswan Reservoir. The area abounds in numerous ancient monuments, including temple ruins and necropolises.
The city was founded at First Cataract on the Nile and was from the beginning of its existence the gate to Nubia and an important point on the map of Egypt's trade routes. Nearby was a huge quarry of syenite, in which unfinished statues prepared for temples and tombs were found.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Aswan Dam was built in the vicinity of Aswan, which led to the creation of an artificial lake. After World War II, it was considered too small and 6 km away the High Dam in Aswan was built. During the construction and flooding of huge areas of the Nile valley, many valuable ancient monuments were destroyed. Some of them, thanks to UNESCO's help, were able to move to safe places near Aswan, while others went to museums all over Europe.
The most spectacular ancient monument of Aswan is the Temple of Isis. It is located on the island of File at the height of First Cataract and managed to save it from destruction due to the construction of the dam. There are two other islands on the reservoir, Elefantyna with a hotel complex and Nubian villages, and Kitchener Island, which is entirely covered by the Aswan Botanical Garden. Other interesting monuments of the ancient city include the Temple of Khnuma and the Temple of Satis.
Saved during archeological excavations, ancient monuments from the area can be admired at the Museum in Aswan. Also interesting is the Nubia Museum, which shows the culture of the people living in the areas south of the lands of ancient Egypt. A remnant of this culture is the Nabta Playa Stone Astronomical Circle.