The stunning city of Aswan is one of the top-rated Egyptian tourist cities that used to be considered by most of Egyptians and tourists as the first winter resort in Egypt together with the city of Luxor. This flourished city is located in southern Egypt, about 900 KM from Cairo, the Egyptian capital.
Aswan is very rich city and really it has a lot to offer! Beside its perfect weather all year around, the awesome city of Aswan has some of the most remarkable historical sites that traveler should not miss, while visiting Egypt for few days, including the marvelous Temple of Philae, the High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk, the Nubian Museum, the fantastic islands and the tourist souq “market”.
Officially Aswan is the last city in Egypt from the South, that’s why it is considered to be the source of water for the Egyptian country and really this strategic location makes Aswan a very important city for the Egyptian governments along the years. Moreover, the city is located about 210 KM to the south of Luxor, more than 850 KM to the south of Cairo and about 515 KM away from the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea shores.
The name “Aswan” along years:
The name “Aswan” is not the original name of the city; however, the current name was originally derived from the word “SONO” in the ancient Egyptian language, which means the large market. Aswan was so called because it was the main and the most important trade center for Egypt at the Pharaonic times due to its strategic location on the Nile, close to the Nile Valley, made it as the main gate for trading between Egypt and Africa. Afterwards, the Romans and Arabs changed the name to become “Aswan”.
Aswan throughout history:
Since the Pharaonic times, the Egyptians knew how important Aswan to protect and secure the Southern borders of the country against any attacks coming from the neighbors in Africa. That’s why the ancient Egyptian kings insisted to improve it by constructing many temples like the one of goddess Isis, known as Philae Temple at the time being.
On other hand, the kings of the Middle Kingdom were powerful enough to secure the city of Aswan, control Nubia and rule parts of Sudan as a try to secure the Southern borders of the Egyptian empire. The same thing lasted during the Ptolemaic era, as the Ptolemies, recognized the importance of Aswan, so they decided to rebuild the well-known Temple of Philae, which was dedicated to the worship of goddess Isis, mother of god Horus.
In the beginning of the 4th century AD, many Egyptians converted to Christianity and the Roman Emperors – during that time – tried to get rid of Egyptian Copts. That’s why most of them resorted in Aswan and the location of Philae Temple became an important center for the Egyptian Copts. But, when the Muslims took control of Egypt, the situation completely changed and the city of Aswan gained more importance for trade, even the Egyptian trade expanded to include some towns in the Arabian world.
Aswan today is a favorite resort for Egyptian and tourists, who would like to spend an unforgettable vacation in Egypt and try various kinds of tourism in the city like visiting the impressive temples, exploring the royal tombs at the Nubian Museum or even sailing down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor in the north or to Abu Simbel in the south! Visiting Aswan is really one of the most important things one should consider while planning for a tour remember in Egypt.