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Isis


Kardassy Temple




Built during the late, Ptolemaic, period of Egyptian history, Kardassy (Qertassi) Temple was relocated to protect it from the waters of Aswan dam to the same island on which Kalabsha temple was placed. Judging from photographs the new location has not the magic that so inspired artists such as David Roberts and others.


Excerpt from: Travels in Nubia by John Lewis Burckhardt

A Journey along the Banks of the Nile
Published in 1819. Adapted for AscendingPassage.com, 2006.


Kardassy Fort and Temple


March 29th, 1813.
Soon we passed Kardassy (Kardeseh, Qertassi or Gartass), where close to the water is a large stone enclosure, about one hundred and thirty paces in length by one hundred in breadth; in its area are heaps of ruined dwellings built of stone. The entrance into this enclosure is by a large gateway, similar in shape to that in the front of the temple near Merowau. The walls are about ten feet in thickness, and are faced on either side with hewn stones, having the center filled up by small ones thrown in confusedly, without cement.

The ruins of Kardassy Temple reach for the sky.
Hilltop Temple of Isis / Hathor at Kardassy,
by David Roberts, 1838


Isis - Hathor.About a mile farther down the river, upon the top of a hill, are the ruins of a temple, resembling in its construction that of the hawk-headed Osiris at Philæ. There remains no part but the portico; it consisted originally of eight columns, of which six are still standing; these are partly united with each other by a wall, rising to half their height, and inclosing the whole of them. Of the stones which formed the roof, one block only remains; it is at least sixteen feet in length, and reaches the whole breadth of the temple. Over four of the columns the architraves still remain; the capitals of the two others are formed by four faces of Isis, with the same head-dress as at Tintyra, but with countenances more juvenile and less grave; the ears are very peculiar, and of the annexed form. There is a sculptured figure on one of the columns only; the others bear traces of having been covered with hieroglyphics.

Kardassy Temple of Isis.
Another view of the Temple at Kardassy,
by David Roberts, 1838


Kardassy Temple was very beautiful with Isis head columns and an open air design.
Reconstruction of Kardassy Temple,
by François Chrétien Gau, 1819


To the S.W. of the hill on which the above temple stands, and close to the river, are some very extensive quarries of sandstone, from whence the materials were probably taken for the erection of the sandstone temples at Philæ and Parembole, where the rocks are entirely of granite. In walking through the quarries, I came to a spot where a niche is cut in the levelled side of the rock; within it is a stone bench, which may have been the pedestal of a statue; small winged globes are sculptured above it. This niche seems to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, and subsequently both by the Pagan and Christian Greeks, as a shrine, at which they offered up their prayers to the deity for the preservation of their own health and that of their friends. Several heads of Greek saints are sculptured in the rock on both sides of the niche; and I also observed whole length figures, and small heads of sphinxes only three or four inches in length, representations, perhaps, of similar images of gold or silver offered to the Pagan deities.


wings of the Sun.

The Temple of Kardassy
excerpt from: Travels in Nubia

by John Lewis Burckhardt, published in 1819



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