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Abu Simbel Temples

Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) / Foter / CC BY-SA
Abu Simbel Temples
  • (worth a trip)
  • 3 hours
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Two impressive rock temples that date back to the 13th century BC

The Famous Abu Simbel Temples are two rock temples located on the western bank of the Nile River in Nubia, Southern Egypt. The temples were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name “Nubian Monuments” in 1979.


The Abu Simbel Temples were carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Ramesses II around 1257 BCE. The twin temples were built by the world famous Pharaoh Ramesess II and dedicated to the Sun gods Amon-Re and as a monument to himself and his queen, the beautiful Nefertary, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.


To be exact, the great temple was dedicated to the gods, Amun, Ra-Horakly and Ptah as well as to the deifield Ramesess himself and the Small Temple was dedicated to his favourite and most loved wife, Nefertari and to Hathor.


The Construction started around 1264 BC and lasted for about 20 years, which means it was finished until approximately 1244 BC.


During the middle age the temples fell into disuse and became almost completely covered by sand. Because of its hidden location, the temples were unknown until 1813, when they were rediscovered by Jean-Louis Burckhardt and first explored in 1817 by the great Italian Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni.


An unbelievable but recognisable fact is that the complex was completely relocated. The relocation was necessary to avoid being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser.


Abu Simbel is the most visited ancient site in all Egypt after the Pyramids of Giza.