Aswan (Arabic: أسوان; Coptic: ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ) is a city in
the south of Egypt, the capital of the
Aswan is a busy market and tourist centre located just north of the
Aswan Dams on the east bank of the
Nile at the first cataract. The
modern city has expanded and includes the formerly separate community
on the island of Elephantine.
1 Other spellings and variations
7 See also
9 External links
Other spellings and variations
"Aswan" is pronounced (English: /ˌæsˈwɑːn/. Spellings in other
languages include Egyptian Arabic: أسوان Aswān
[ʔɑsˈwɑːn]; Ancient Egyptian: Swenett; Coptic: ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ
Souan; Ancient Greek: Συήνη Syene), and it was formerly spelled
Aswan is the ancient city of Swenett, later known as Syene, which in
antiquity was the frontier town of Ancient
Egypt facing the south.
Swenett is supposed to have derived its name from an Egyptian goddess
with the same name. This goddess later was identified as Eileithyia
by the Greeks and Lucina by the Romans during their occupation of
Egypt because of the similar association of their goddesses
with childbirth, and of which the import is "the opener". The ancient
name of the city also is said to be derived from the Egyptian symbol
for "trade", or "market".
Ancient Egyptians oriented themselves toward the origin of
the life-giving waters of the
Nile in the south, and as Swenett was
the southernmost town in the country,
Egypt always was conceived to
"open" or begin at Swenett. The city stood upon a peninsula on the
right (east) bank of the Nile, immediately below (and north of) the
first cataract of the flowing waters, which extend to it from Philae.
Navigation to the delta was possible from this location without
encountering a barrier.
The stone quarries of ancient
Egypt located here were celebrated for
their stone, and especially for the granitic rock called Syenite. They
furnished the colossal statues, obelisks, and monolithal shrines that
are found throughout Egypt, including the pyramids; and the traces of
the quarrymen who worked in these 3,000 years ago are still visible in
the native rock. They lie on either bank of the Nile, and a road,
6.5 km (4.0 mi) in length, was cut beside them from Syene to
Swenett was equally important as a military station as a place of
traffic. Under every dynasty it was a garrison town; and here tolls
and customs were levied on all boats passing southwards and
northwards. Around 330, the legion stationed here received a bishop
from Alexandria; this later became the Coptic Diocese of Syene. The
city is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Herodotus,
Strabo, Stephanus of Byzantium, Ptolemy, Pliny the Elder,
Vitruvius, and it appears on the Antonine Itinerary. It also
is mentioned in the
Book of Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel and the
Book of Isaiah.
View from the west bank of the Nile, islands, and Aswan
The latitude of the city that would become
Aswan – located at 24°
5′ 23″ – was an object of great interest to the ancient
geographers. They believed that it was seated immediately under the
tropic, and that on the day of the summer solstice, a vertical staff
cast no shadow. They noted that the sun's disc was reflected in a well
at noon. This statement is only approximately correct; at the summer
solstice, the shadow was only 1⁄400 of the staff, and so could
scarcely be discerned, and the northern limb of the Sun's disc would
be nearly vertical. However,
Eratosthenes used this information
together with measurements of the shadow length on the solstice at
Alexandria to perform the first known calculation of the circumference
of the Earth.
Nile is nearly 650 m (0.40 mi) wide above Aswan. From
this frontier town to the northern extremity of Egypt, the river flows
for more than 1,200 km (750 mi) without bar or cataract. The
Alexandria usually took 21 to 28 days in
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message)
Aswan has a hot desert climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification BWh)
like the rest of Egypt.
Luxor have the hottest summer days
of any city in Egypt.
Aswan is one of the hottest, sunniest and driest
cities in the world. Average high temperatures are consistently above
40 °C (104.0 °F) during summer (June, July, August and
also September) while average low temperatures remain above
25 °C (77.0 °F). Summers are long, prolonged and extremely
hot. Average high temperatures remain above 23 °C
(73.4 °F) during the coldest month of the year while average low
temperatures remain above 8 °C (46.4 °F). Winters are
short, brief and extremely warm. Wintertime is very pleasant and
enjoyable while summertime is unbearably hot with blazing sunshine
although desert heat is dry.
The climate of
Aswan is extremely dry year-round, with less than
1 mm (0 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city
is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall doesn't occur
every year, as of early 2001, the last rain there was seven years
Aswan is one of the least humid cities on the planet, with an
average relative humidity of only 26%, with a maximum mean of 42%
during winter and a minimum mean of 16% during summer.
The weather of
Aswan is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round,
in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with almost 4,000 hours
of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine
Aswan is one of the sunniest places on Earth.
The highest record temperature was 51 °C (124 °F) on July
4, 1918, and the lowest record temperature was −2.4 °C
(27.7 °F) on January 6, 1989.
Climate data for Aswan, Egypt
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization,
Source #2: NOAA for mean temperatures, humidity, and sun, Meteo
Climat (extremes 1918–present)
South Valley University was inaugurated and it has three
Qena and Hurghada. The university grew steadily and
now it is firmly established as a major institution of higher
education in Upper Egypt.
Aswan branch of Assiut University began in
1973 with the Faculty of Education and in 1975 the Faculty of Science
Aswan branch has five faculties namely; Science,
Education, Engineering, Arts, Social Works and Institute of Energy.
The Faculty of Science in
Aswan has six departments. Each department
has one educational programme: Chemistry, Geology, Physics and
Zoology. Except Botany Department, which has three educational
programmes: Botany, Environmental Sciences and Microbiology; and
Mathematics Department, which has two educational programmes:
Mathematics and Computer Science. The Faculty of Science awards the
following degrees: Bachelor of Science in nine educational programmes,
Higher Diploma, Master of Science and Philosophy Doctor of Science.
Aswan also has
Aswan Higher Institute of Social Work that was
established in 1975 making him the oldest private higher institute of
Social Work in Upper Egypt
Aswan is served by the
Aswan International Airport. Train and bus
service is also available. Taxi and rickshaw are used for transport
Archangel Michael's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, built in the Coptic
El-Tabia Mosque in Aswan
The Lotus-Tower near Aswan
Nubia Museum entrance
Obelisk in Aswan
Monastery of St. Simeon
A street parallel to Corniche in Aswan
Aswan Botanical Garden
Nubian village in
Feluccas in Aswan
A view along the street connecting the railway station and the Nile
Wadi Allaqi national park
Temple of Kalabsha
Tombs of Nobles in Aswan
Coptic Diocese of Syene
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Aswan".
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
^ a b Baines, John; Malek, Jaromir (March 1983). Atlas of Ancient
Egypt (Cultural Atlas). New York, NY: Facts On
File Inc. p. 240.
^ Suʻād Māhir (1966). Muhafazat Al Gumhuriya Al Arabiya Al Mutaheda
wa Asaraha al baqiah fi al asr al islamim. Majlis al-Aʻlá
^ James Henry Breasted (1912). A History of Egypt, from the Earliest
Times to the Persian Conquest. Charles Scribner's Sons.
^ Dijkstra, J. Harm F. Religious Encounters on the Southern Egyptian
Frontier in Late Antiquity (AD 298-642).
^ (ii. 30)
^ (ii. p. 133, xvii. p. 797, seq.)
^ (s. v.)
^ (vii. 5. § 15, viii. 15. § 15)
^ (ii. 73. s. 75, v. 10. s. 11, vi. 29. s. 34)
^ (De architectura, book viii. ch ii. § 6)
^ (p. 164)
^ Ezekiel 29:10, 30:6; Isaiah 49:12
^ a b "Station Aswan" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved April 26,
^ "Weather Information for Asswan". Retrieved August 31, 2012.
^ "Asswan Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aswan.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Aswan.
Egyptian cities and towns by population
1,000,000 and more
Shubra El Kheima
El Mahalla El Kubra
6th of October
Kafr El Dawwar
Kafr El Sheikh
New Borg El Arab
Shibin El Kom
Sharm El Sheikh
Governorates capitals of Egypt
Beni Suef (Beni Suef)
Kafr El Sheikh
Kafr El Sheikh (Kafr El Sheikh)
Matrouh (Mersa Matrouh)
New Valley (Kharga)
North Sinai (Arish)
Port Said (Port Said)
Red Sea (Hurghada)
South Sinai (El Tor)
Upper Egyptian cities
Glossary of artifacts
Architecture (Egyptian Revival architecture)
Great Royal Wives