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Abu Simbel Temple and the Incredible statues of Ramses II

Published in Travel
January 24, 2023
4 min read
Abu Simbel Temple and the Incredible statues of Ramses II

The Abu Simbel Temple is one of the oldest and most spectacular ancient monuments in the world. Located in southern Egypt, near the border of Sudan, the temple is an incredible sight that draws thousands of visitors every year. From its history and relocation to the incredible statues of Ramses II, this majestic temple has a lot to offer and explore. Let’s take a closer look at the Abu Simbel Temple and its statues of Ramses II!

Introduction to the Abu Simbel Temple

The Abu Simbel Temple is a temple complex located in the Nubian Desert of southern Egypt. It was built by the Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BC and is one of the most impressive monuments of ancient Egypt. The temple is made up of two main temples, the Great Temple and the Small Temple. The Great Temple was dedicated to Ramses II, and the Small Temple was dedicated to his wife Nefertari. Both temples were carved directly into the sandstone cliffs of the Nubian Desert.

The most impressive feature of the Abu Simbel Temple is its four colossal statues of Ramses II. Each of these statues stands at 20 meters (65 feet) high and is flanked by two smaller statues of the Pharaoh’s children. The statues are located at the entrance of the Great Temple and are visible from miles away.

History of the Abu Simbel Temple

Ramses II was a powerful and ambitious Pharaoh who wanted to create a lasting monument to himself. He chose the site of the Abu Simbel Temple because it was located in the Nubian Desert, far away from the main centers of ancient Egypt. The temple was built from 1264 to 1244 BC and was dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah, as well as Ramses II himself.

The Abu Simbel Temple was largely forgotten for centuries until it was rediscovered in 1813 by a Swiss explorer. Since then, it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt. It was even declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Inside the Abu Simbel Temple

The interiors of the Abu Simbel Temple are just as impressive as the exteriors. The Great Temple consists of a massive hypostyle hall with two rows of eight columns, each one topped with a statue of Horus. There is also a sanctuary in the back of the temple, where a large sculpture of Ramses II sits.

The Small Temple is much smaller than the Great Temple, but it is still impressive. It has a single chamber with three statues of Nefertari and four statues of Ramses II. The walls are decorated with beautiful hieroglyphics and paintings.

The Statues of Ramses II

The four colossal statues of Ramses II at the entrance of the Abu Simbel Temple are some of the most impressive statues in the world. They each stand at 20 meters (65 feet) high and are flanked by two smaller statues of the Pharaoh’s children. The statues are carved from the sandstone cliffs and represent Ramses II in the traditional nemes headdress and royal kilt.

The statues are incredibly lifelike and have been expertly preserved over the centuries. They are a testament to the skill of the ancient Egyptians and to the power of Ramses II.

The Relocation of The Abu Simbel Temple

In the 1960s, the construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened to submerge the Abu Simbel Temple in the rising waters of Lake Nasser. To prevent this, the entire temple was carefully dismantled and relocated to a higher elevation. The project took four years to complete and cost over $40 million.

The relocation was a huge success, and today the Abu Simbel Temple stands just as it did thousands of years ago. It is a testament to the power of modern engineering and serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our ancient monuments.

Visiting the Abu Simbel Temple

Visiting the Abu Simbel Temple is an amazing experience. It is located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Aswan, so it is best to visit as part of a guided tour. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the sun illuminates the statues and gives them an almost magical glow.

The entrance fee for the Abu Simbel Temple is 100 Egyptian pounds (approximately $6). The temple is open from 8am to 4pm every day, except for January 1 and October 6.

Interesting Facts About the Abu Simbel Temple

The Abu Simbel Temple is an incredible feat of engineering and architecture. Here are some interesting facts about this majestic temple:

  • The temple was carved directly into the sandstone cliffs of the Nubian Desert.
  • The walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful hieroglyphics and paintings.
  • The four colossal statues of Ramses II are 20 meters (65 feet) high.
  • The interior of the temple is a hypostyle hall with two rows of eight columns.
  • The entrance fee for the Abu Simbel Temple is 100 Egyptian pounds (approximately $6).

Photography Tips for the Abu Simbel Temple

The Abu Simbel Temple is one of the most photographed monuments in Egypt. To get the best shots, here are some tips:

  • Visit early in the morning for the best light.
  • Use a wide-angle lens to capture the full size of the statues.
  • Get creative with angles and perspectives.
  • Use a tripod to get sharp and clear images.
  • Bring a flash to capture details in the shadows.
  • Use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections and improve color.

Abu Simbel on the Map

The Abu Simbel Temple is located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Aswan. It is easily accessible by car, bus, or train from Aswan or from Luxor. The nearest airport is in Aswan, and the nearest town is Abu Simbel.

Conclusion

The Abu Simbel Temple is an incredible monument of ancient Egypt. From its history and relocation to the incredible statues of Ramses II, this majestic temple has a lot to offer and explore. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, photography, or just in need of a good sightseeing spot, the Abu Simbel Temple is definitely worth a visit. So plan your trip to the Abu Simbel Temple today and explore this amazing monument for yourself!


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Table Of Contents

1
Introduction to the Abu Simbel Temple
2
History of the Abu Simbel Temple
3
Inside the Abu Simbel Temple
4
The Statues of Ramses II
5
The Relocation of The Abu Simbel Temple
6
Visiting the Abu Simbel Temple
7
Interesting Facts About the Abu Simbel Temple
8
Photography Tips for the Abu Simbel Temple
9
Abu Simbel on the Map
10
Conclusion

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