Philae Temple (Temple of Goddess Isis)

One of the main sites in Aswan visited by almost every tourist in Egypt is Philae Temple, the temple of goddess Isis.

Philae temple was the cult center of goddess Isis and her connection with Osiris and Horus during the Ptolemaic Period as it’s a Greco Roman temple.

The island which is 450 meters long and less than 150 meters wide was almost entirely covered with temples and monuments. During the Pharonic Period, the temples etc were protected from the flood waters by high walls and sturdy granite foundations. What we refer to today as Philae is the main temple complex relocated from that island, after the High Dam was built, to the island of Agilika

The Ptolemies wanted to please the Egyptians by building temples to their most beloved gods and goddesses that’s why they built Philae temple.

Ptolemy II started the construction of the main temple of Isis. A temple to her consort Osiris was built on another island and their son Horus has his own place on Philae. Other structures on the island include a small temple of Imhotep and temples to two Nubian deities Mandolis and Arhesnoter.

It was believed that the knowledge of Isis and Knowing a secret formula had brought life back to her husband Osiris, that her spells had saved her son Horus from the bite of the snake and she was the protectors of all who sought her.

It was Isis who found the body of Osiris that had been locked in a chest and cast on the Nile by his brother Set. It was she who made the body whole through her prayers, who knew the secrets and spells and even the name of the sun-god. Isis was the great goddess, she was once a mother goddess and a magician. It was believed that her single tear caused the annual flood , which brought life to the land.

Like all the temples, Philae temple has a big tower where goddess Isis, her husband god Osiris and their son god Horus are all represented standing and receiving offerings by the Ptolemies.

A big part of Philae temple hall of columns was converted into a church as it was used for a while by the early Christians.

Finally the walls of the holly of hollies of Philae temple are showing goddess Isis in a form of a lady with 2 wings while supporting her dead husband god Osirs, showing the shape of the bird that she took while looking for the parts of the body of her husband.

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