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Abu Simbel Temples - Table of Contents

Larger Temple / Great Temple, Abu Simbel
Nubia, Southern Egypt

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Two massive rock temples

Four large statues of Ramesses II in the facade.

Ramses II

Stele (next to walkway)

Stele which records the marriage of Ramses II with a daughter of king Hattusili III

Statues of Horus

Statues of Horus

Bas-relief: prisoners

Osiris pillars

African and Asian prisoners

Earthquake result: The head and torso can still be seen at the statue's feet

Members of the royal family




A member of the royal family

Ramses II wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Row of 22 seated baboons.

Niche: falcon-headed Ra Harakhti ...... Ramses II statues

Niche: falcon-headed Ra Harakhti

Abu Simbel is an archaeological site comprising two massive rock temples in Nubia, southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 290 km southwest of Aswan. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).

The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of
Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in the 1960s, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.

The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt's top tourist attractions.

Construction of the temple complex started in approximately 1244 BCE and lasted for about 20 years, until 1224 BCE. Known as the "Temple of Ramesses, beloved by Amun," it was one of six rock temples erected in Nubia during the long reign of Ramesses II.

... Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni, who travelled to the site, but was unable to dig out an entry to the temple. Belzoni returned in 1817, this time succeeding in his attempt to enter the complex. He took everything valuable and portable with him. Tour guides at the site relate the legend that "Abu Simbel" was a young local boy who guided these early re-discoverers to the site of the buried temple which he had seen from time to time in the shifting sands. Eventually, they named the complex after him: Abu Simbel.

- Wikipedia: Abu Simbel 11/09

Photos and their arrangement 2009 Chuck LaChiusa
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