If you want to see a live marvel, prepare your passport and get ready to visit Egypt on your next vacation. Abu Simbel Temple is one of the most famous attractions in the world and is famous for the solar alignment that happens twice a year.
The colossal monument consists of 2 giant temples, situated at Abu Simbel village 240 km southern Aswan near Sudan border.
The spectacular complex located on the western bank of Lake Nasser was built for Pharaoh Ramesses II and his Queen Nefertari.
Ancient temples were built for various ancient Egyptian Gods, so, what was the temple of Abu Simbel used for.
Abu Simbel larger temple was constructed for Egyptian ancient Sun Gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, Ptah. However, the smaller temple, which was built to honour Nefertari, was dedicated to the goddess Hathor.
On the other hand, a painting located in the great hall of the larger temple called “God path painting”. This ancient God created this painting as memory and wrote that the temple was built to celebrate Coronations, that happens every 30 years.
You can find a lot of information and facts about Abu Simbel Temples, and their history. However, once you see the massive monuments with your own eyes, you will realize that no words can describe the greatness of the Egyptian ancient history.
The construction of the temple started 1264 BC and continued till 1244 BCE, but was saved from the rising waters after building of the Aswan High Dam, and relocated by the year 1968. For that great purpose, an international donation campaign was raised in 1959, to save the monuments of Nubia, which includes Philae Temple near Aswan.
During the 13th century, there were 2 mountains in the area, where the 2 temples are now. The locals back then though that the west mountain has the living soul of God Horus, and the north mountain has God Hathor living soul.
A tour around Abu Simbel Temple
Abu Simbel Temple front comprises of three parts, the top part has the remains of 22 monkeys statuses that used to symbolize the 22 hours in the ancient day. Then you can see hieroglyphic writing underneath, recording Ramses’ marriage to the daughter of King Hatsili III.
When you first arrive at Abu Simbel Temples, you can’t miss the third part and the most important one; a gigantic 66-foot statue on the side of the main entrance. These statuses were carved out of a sandstone rock cliff. And between them are statues for ancient God Ra-Horakhty, with a hawk face wearing a sun crown. This God was the main God which the temple was built for.
Around the statuses feet, you can see smaller figures, though to represent Ramses’ children, his queen, Nefertari and his mother.
Entering the great temple you will find 3 halls stretching 185 feet into the cliff. The halls contain more statues of the king, and many paintings, some of them describing his victory in the Battle of Kadesh.
When entering the first hall you can see 4 magnificent columns on each side, the statuses are for King Ramses; with paintings for flying birds on the ceiling protecting God’s procession when getting in and out of the temple.
The second column hall has paintings of King Ramses and Queen Nefertari giving gifts to Gods.
The entrance halls lead you to the main hall in the temple “Holy of Holies, where the sun illuminates the three statues for Ramses II and Amon for 20 minutes on October 22 nd and on February 22 st; though to be the date of Ramses II birth and his coronation. However, other studies suggest that those dates are in fact the date for the Planting and harvest seasons, respectively.
The Sun alignment used to happen on October and February 21 st, but due to the reallocation of the temple, it changed.
The smaller temple was devoted to queen Nefertari to worship the goddess Hathor, who represented music, dance, love, beauty, motherhood and joy. The temple is decorated with six 35-foot tall statuses for the king and queen.
There is more to see at Abu Simbel Temple, you have to see to believe. Travel to Luxor and witness the miracle of the solar alignment, and enjoy the best experience deep in the ancient pharaonic history.