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Abu Simbel Temples

Situated near Egypt’s southern borders with Sudan, 280 km south of Aswan, the Temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most interesting of all Pharaonic temples.  There are two temples cut into the rock dating back to king Ramses II - one is for Ramses and the other for Nefertari.

The Great Temple

Ramses II built this for himself to be adored beside the gods Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Ptah. It is 33m high and 38m wide and 56m deep. King Ramses II built this temple for himself not only as a king but also as a god as the facade of the temple shows how king Ramses was worshiping himself as a god. It also showed him as a warrior and after that as a peace maker when he signed the first peace treaty in history and married the daughter of the Hittites.

Temple of Nefertari 

The Temple of Queen Nefertari is located 120m from the Temple of Ramses II and was also built by Ramses II, dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and to his wife Queen Nefertari. Queen Nefertari was the principal, and the most beloved, wife of King Ramses II. It is also a rock-cut Temple with a façade of about 28m long and 12m high, which contains 6 standing colossi, each one being about 11m in height. Four of them represent Ramses II and the other two represent Queen Nefertari, each accompanied by two smaller figures of their children.

The entrance leads to a square hall, which is supported by 6 Hathor-headed pillars decorated with scenes depicting the King and the Queen making offerings to different deities. At the end of the hall there is a doorway leading to a transverse vestibule decorated with scenes of King Ramses II making offerings to Re-Horakhty, while the Queen is presenting flowers to Khenum, Sat-tet and Anket.The Transverse Hall leads to the Sanctuary, which contains a niche in the rear wall with a statue of Goddess Hathor, as a cow, protecting Ramses II.


The view from this place is incredible. Imagine yourself in the middle of the desert, and at the shores of Lake Nasser.  The temples got world fame when an international UNESCO operation was needed to save them from the rising water of Lake Nasser. The bright colors in the carvings are essentially intact.  

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