Travelogue

Abu Simbel

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The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Nubia, in southern Egypt. The twin temples were carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II.  The temples are not only the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was a historic event. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser. In 1968, they were moved onto an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam. Ramses II built the Great Temple to honor himself and the gods of the state. The four seated statues of Ramses are about 20 meters in height. At the feet of Ramses stand the statues of his favorite children. Not far from the main temple, there is the Little Temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor in memory of the king’s wife Nefertari, who was later venerated as the goddess of love and fertility. The façade of the temple shows Nefertari on each side of the entrance standing between two colossal 10m statues of Rameses, with smaller images of royal children at their feet.