AGA KHAN MAUSOLEUM
felucca ride brings you to the Mausoleum, atop a hill at the
southern end of the West Bank. Aga Khan - the late leader
of the Ismaili sect - spent every winter in Aswan and was
buried here in this magnificent mausoleum modeled on the Fatimid
tombs in Cairo. The interior shrine of the Mausoleum is made
MONASTRY OF ST SIMEON (DEIR AMBA SAMA'AN)
a camel or climb to the ruins of the Coptic Monastery of St.
Simeon, originally founded in the 7th century AD. Rebuilt
in the 10th century, the monastery was a base for missionary
monks who converted the Nubians to Christianity. Frescoes
of the Apostles still remain in the roofless Basilica.
TOMBS OF THE NOBLES
northern hills of the West Bank are filled with the rock-hewn
tombs of princes from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period.
At night they are illuminated with hidden spotlights and can
be seen clearly from the east bank of the Nile at Aswan. On
the inside, the tombs are decorated with vivid wall pictures
depicting scenes of everyday life. Hieroglyphic biographies
and inscriptions tell of the noblemen's journeys into Africa.
Unfinished Obelisk, measuring 41 metres in length and 4 metres
square at the base, still lies where a crack was discovered
as it was being hewn from the rock. Possibly intended as a
companion to the Lateran Obelisk originally at Karnak, now
in Rome, it would have measured 120 feet and weighed over
1150 tons when complete. It is a concrete example of how the
ancient Egyptians went about fashioning these graceful monuments.
Nearby is the Fatimid Cemetery, consisting of hundreds of
mud-brick tombs dating back to the 9th century AD.