Location: at the first Cataract of the Nile, Aswan, Egypt.
History: Philae Island was a rocky island in the middle of the River Nile, south of Aswan. It was called in Hieroglyphic Apo which means Ivory. It was also known by the Greek Elephantine, most probably because it was an important centre of trade, especially for ivory. The Ancient Egyptians built a beautiful and magnificent Temple on this island for the Goddess Isis, but the Temple became submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906, and it was not until the seventies that many nations attempted to save the Temple. All these countries, together with UNESCO, selected a suitable place, but they had to wait until the completion of the High Dam, in 1971, which would stabilize the level of the water around their chosen island. The new island was called Egilica (also called Agilika), and it was completely reshaped to imitate Philae Island as closely as possible. Firstly, a cofferdam was built around the Temple and the water was drained. Next, the Temple was dismantled and transferred, stone by stone, from the submerged Philae Island to the redesigned Egilica Island. Each and every stone had to be numbered, and then replaced, in the same position, in the new location. It was a massive, and very complicated, project taking over 9 years to be accomplished. The oldest structure on the island is the kiosk built by Nectanebo I (380-362 BCE). To the north of the kiosk he also built a temple gate which was eventually integrated into the first pylon of the Temple of Aset. From this time until the Roman period, many different temples were added to the island. Among those was a temple of Het-Hert constructed under the Emperor Augustus. Philae served to disseminate Egyptian religion to Nubia and the Sudan in the south during hundreds of years. Many of the reliefs and inscriptions of Meroe in the Sudan show influence from the texts of the Temple of Aset at Philae. The Temple of Isis at Philae is actually on a small island in the Nile near Aswan. The temple like Abu Simbel was moved to a different location due to rising waters of the High Dam. It was finally restored and moved in the 1960's but after being under water for long periods of time a lot of the colors have been washed away. It would have been mind blowing to see this in the peak of its civilization but as I am lacking a time machine so this will have to do.
Temple of Isis: The Temple of Isis is one of the greatest Temples in Egypt and it occupies about a quarter of the island. It is the main Temple on the island, with its huge, complete, pylons and beautiful scenes. The construction began during the reign of King Ptolemy II, and then other Ptolemaic Kings (Ptolemy IV, V, VI, VII and XI) contributed by adding more parts to the main Temple. The Temple is built in the same style as the Temples of the New Kingdom, as well as some other elements, which appeared in the Greco-Roman period, such as the Mamisi (the House of the divine birth of Horus), and a Nilometer. The Temple of Isis consists of The 1st Pylon, which is a great traditional pylon with two towers, and an open forecourt, which leads to the 2nd pylon. On the left side of this court, is the Mamisi, which has scenes depicting the birth of the God Horus by his mother Isis. The 2nd Pylon leads to a Hypostyle Hall with 10 columns, and then 3 vestibules leading to a sanctuary. The oldest remains, of the Temple of Philae, date back to the reign of King Taharqa (25th Dynasty), who built the first chapel for the Goddess Isis. In addition to the main Temple of Isis there are other monuments here, such as The Kiosk of Trajan, the Chapel of Osiris, The Temple of Horus, The Temple of Hathor, The Gateway of Tiberius, the Gateway of Diocletian, and the Temple of Augustus. The Temples of the island were neglected, and some of them even destroyed, after the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperors. During the reign of the Emperor Justinian (527-565 A.D), the main Temple was converted to a church. The temple at Philae was nearly lost under water when the high Aswan dam was built in the 1960s. Fortunately the temple was rescued by a joint operation between the Egyptian government and UNESCO. In an engineering feat to rival the ancients the whole island was surrounded with a dam and the inside pumped dry. Then every stone block of the temple complex was labelled and removed later to be assembled, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, on the higher ground of Agilka Island. The whole project took ten years and has saved one of Egypt's most beautiful temples from certain destruction.