This small town is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 55 km south of Luxor. During the 18th dynasty it was increasingly an important commercial center due to Egypt’s developing relationship with Sudan and later became one of the centers of the Coptic religion.
The two main points of interest in Esna are its lively tourist-oriented market, which fills a couple of streets leading inland from the corniche. One may purchase fabric, or have the fabrics made into clothing as Esna is famous for being a distinguished weaving industry.
The other is the temple of Esna. The temple was remarkable for the beauty of its site and the magnificence of its architecture. It sits in a 9m deep pit which represents 15 centuries of desert sand that accumulated since the temple was abandoned during the Roman period. It is dedicated to the god Khnum, the ram headed and the creator who fashioned human kind on his potter’s wheel using clay.
Small and quiet, yet Esna is a very interesting place to enjoy your cruise specially with the lock passing experience, where the water level changes while you are on board!