The Isis Temple in Philae is another temple that was saved from inundation by the reservoir, the Aswan Low Dam in this case. It is a beautiful temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis. Like the Horus Temple in Edfu and the temple of Kom Ombo, the Isis Temple was built in Ptolemaic times. It closely follows the same lay-out. The oldest remains were built by Nectanebo I (380 - 362 BCE). Most of the rest was started by Ptolemaios II Philadelphus (285 - 246 BCE). New parts were added till the reign of Diocletian (CE 284 - 305). Isis was worshiped there as late as 550 CE, when the emperor Justinian closed the temple.
The early Christians transformed the main temple's hypostyle into a chapel, they built some churches, and defaced the old reliefs. Their inscriptions in turn were defaced by the early Muslims.
After landing from your boat trip, you come to the Outer Temple Court, with colonnades along both sides. The entrance to the main temple is through two huge 18 m (59 ft) high pylons. They are decorated with huge reliefs of Ptolemaios XII (Cleopatra's father), smashing his enemies.
In the Great Court is the mammisi (birth house), dedicated to Horus. Each Pharaoh would take part in the mammisi ritual to establish his legitimacy.
The second pylons lead to a 10 column hypostyle hall, and from there into the Inner Sanctuary of Isis, where the gold statue of the Goddess Isis used to stand.
I also visited the Isis Temple at night for a light show. It was very scenic to see the lighted temple at night.
Isis Temple of Philae. (683k) Overall view of the Isis Temple, with the first and second pylons. (721k) Close-up of the right part of the first pylon, showing Horus and his mother Isis (left) and the Pharaoh Ptolemaios XII smashing his enemies. (732k) View of the left part of the first pylon, showing Isis (right) and the Pharaoh smashing his enemies. The left part of the pylon was defaced by early Christians, but the right part was mostly intact. (661k) View of the column colonnade of the Outer Temple Court. (747k) Column colonnade in the Outer Temple Court. Notice that each capital is different. (757k) View of the Isis Temple complex from the right side. (496k) The first pylon behind the column colonnade of the Outer Temple Court. (742k) View through the entrance gate of the first pylon towards the second pylon. (964k) Entrance gate in the second pylon. (865k) View of the Isis Temple Complex from the east side, with the Kiosk of Trajan in the foreground left. (609k) The Kiosk of Trajan. (770k) The Kiosk of Trajan. (661k) View of one of the columns. (744k) Capital of one of the columns. (671k) The defaced relief of a Pharaoh. (886k) Hieroglyphics stone with the Horus Sun Disk at the top. (1090k) Relief of the Goddess Isis, nursing her son Horus. (841k) Decorations on one of the columns. (926k) Early Christian decorations. (707k) Early Christian altar. (756k) Inscriptions of early explorers. (586k) Defaced reliefs in the temple. (1164k) Relief of the sacred barge that was used to transport the golden statue of the Goddess Isis to festivities. (650k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (853k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (749k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (839k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (450k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (502k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (533k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (410k) Isis Temple at night during the light show. (473k) The first pylon at night during the light show. (726k) The second pylon at night during the light show. (1416k) The hypostyle hall at night. (1195k) The Kiosk of Trajan during the light show. (739k) Huge, finely carved relief of the Goddess Isis. (842k) Relief of the God Horus, the son of the Goddess Isis. (852k) Decorations on one of the columns. (894k) Relief of the God Thoth. (803k)