The High Dam, located in the charming city of Aswan in Southern Egypt, is one of the most astonishing architectural achievements of modern Egypt. The main reason behind the construction of the High Dam was to preserve the water of the Nile and control the floods that used to represent many problems for the peasants of Egypt. This is in addition to the generation of a large portion of Egypt’s electricity.
The idea and the construction of the High Dam have to be credited to Gamal Abdel Nasser, the former Egyptian president, who wanted to enhance the lives of the Egyptian people after the revolution of 1952. Many several tour packages to Egypt today include a visit to the High Dam as the most wonderful contemporary monument of Egypt.
Situated at the Southern part of Aswan, the High Dam has a distinctive location near many interesting monuments; tourists usually visit on the same day, like the Unfinished Obelisk and the Temple of Philae that one can view from the top of the dam.
The construction of the High Dam has an interesting story behind it. It goes back to prior to the Egyptian revolution when a Greek engineer presented the government with a large project to build a dam that would preserve the wasted water of the River Nile and produce electricity. However, it was rejected by the state for political reasons.
After the success of the Egyptian revolution in 1952, they accepted the project of building the High Dam. However, the Egyptian government did not have the huge cost of carrying out such a mega project according to the conditions and sensitive period Egypt was going through.
The Egyptian government needed more than 400 million EGP to construct the High Dam. The World Bank refused to lend Egypt this amount or even any part of it. This encouraged Gamal Abdel Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal in 1956 that was still owned by the British at the time and benefit from its revenues.
In fact, Russia was the main partner of Egypt in the construction of the High Dam. The Russians agreed to fund Egypt with the cost of the first phase of the constructions work. Afterwards, in 1960, the Russian government also approved the funding of the second and last phase of the project of building the High Dam.
The building of the High Dam began in 1960 and the project was fully finalized in 1971 in one of the most glorious moments of Egypt’s contemporary history.
With a length that is around 3.6 kilometers and a width that is more than 40 meters, the High Dam is truly high being 111 meters in height. Constructed with the usage of various materials, the body of the dam is quite impressive and grab the attention of many tourists who visit Egypt. Travelers who explore the High Dam always spend some time admiring the Egyptian-Russian friendship monument constructed to symbolize the role the Russians played in the construction of the High Dam.