Aswan is the third biggest town in Egypt today and the biggest one in upper Egypt. It is situated at the foot of the Nile Valley to the North end of Lake Nasser. In recent times Aswan has become a major mining area for aluminum and iron mining. It is also a favorite place for tourists to visit due to it being a major stop for cruise boats on the River Nile as well as Lake Nasser. It has a local market that is an excellent place to do your holiday shopping. This is especially true if you want spices as you will find the best types of fresh spices in the Aswan market. Aswan also has many attractive tourist spots to visit.
Aswan is the capital of its own governorate and has a population of about 1.2 million. Most of the city’s residents are Nubians and local tribes of the Kenzo people.
Aswan takes its name from the ancient Egyptian word “swan”, meaning “the market”. This is because it was located on the main trade route between Egypt and the southern lands, bringing gold, slaves and ivory into Egypt. The governors of the 6th Dynasty sent many expeditions to explore the many African countries located to the south, and most of these started from Aswan. It was also the major source of granite, sandstone, and quartzite used in the construction of various major monuments throughout Egypt.
Because of Aswan’s location, just north of the Tropic of Cancer, the city has a hot climate throughout the year and it is advised to cover your head when walking about and drink water constantly. Aswan is situated 890Km (553 miles) to the south of Cairo and 220Km (137 miles) to the south of Luxor. It is the third most popular place to visit in Egypt, behind Cairo and Luxor, and is accessible in a number of ways.
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