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Pharaonic SightsThe Temples of Abu Simbel | Egypt Eye Tour

One of the most interesting Pharaonic temples located near the Southern borders with the Sudan.
Brief history

The temples of Abu Simbel are one of the most interesting Pharonic temples located near the Southern borders with the Sudan. It is located 280 km to the South of Aswan and it consists of two rock-cut temples both date back to the reign of Ramsis II (1290-1223 BC).

Aswan

Abu Simbel

Unfortunately these two unique temples suffered from the raising water of Nasser Lake after while building the high dam, therefore UNESCO helped the country and contributed to save them. The two temples were cut to number of pieces, then they were reconstructed again in a high site 65 M higher than the original location and 200 M back in land to escape the rising water level. The works of this great rescue operation began in June 1964 and finish

The first temple was built by king Ramsis II and dedicated to god Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon, Ptah, and king Ramsis II as a deified person.

Its façade is 35 m. long and 30 m. high. The façade has four seated colossi of the king, each one is 20 M in height and represents the king seated on his throne wearing the double crown, while accompanied by 3 small figures of his wives, daughters and sons flanking his legs.

Above the entrance stands the figure of Re-Hor-Akhty. Near the submit of the façade there are number of baboons.

Inside the temple there is a hall supported by Osirid shaped pillars, cut in the the rock. The walls of this hall are decorated by battle and offering scenes. At the end of the temple is the sanctuary which contains four statues represent Re-hor-akhty, Amon-Re, Petah and the fourth represents the deified Ramses II. Also there are some side rooms decorated with various scenes.

Unfortunately these two unique temples suffered from the raising water of Nasser Lake after while building the high dam, therefore UNESCO helped the country and contributed to save them. The two temples were cut to number of pieces, then they were reconstructed again in a high site 65 M higher than the original location and 200 M back in land to escape the rising water level. The works of this great rescue operation began in June 1964 and finish

The first temple was built by king Ramsis II and dedicated to god Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon, Ptah, and king Ramsis II as a deified person.

Its façade is 35 m. long and 30 m. high. The façade has four seated colossi of the king, each one is 20 M in height and represents the king seated on his throne wearing the double crown, while accompanied by 3 small figures of his wives, daughters and sons flanking his legs.

Above the entrance stands the figure of Re-Hor-Akhty. Near the submit of the façade there are number of baboons.

Inside the temple there is a hall supported by Osirid shaped pillars, cut in the the rock. The walls of this hall are decorated by battle and offering scenes. At the end of the temple is the sanctuary which contains four statues represent Re-hor-akhty, Amon-Re, Petah and the fourth represents the deified Ramses II. Also there are some sided rooms decorated with various scenes.

The small temple of Abu simbel

The temple of queen Nefertari is about 120 m. from the Temple of Ramsis II, it was built also by Ramsis II, dedicated to goddess Hathor and to his wife queen Nefertari, she was principal and the beloved wife of king Ramses II. It is also a rock-cut temple with a façade of about 28 m long and 12 m high. The façade contains 6 standing colossi, each one is about 11 m. in height

Four of them represent Ramsis II and two represent the queen Nefertari and each is accompanied by two smaller figures of their children.

The entrance leads to square hall which supported by 6 Hathor-headed pillars decorates with

scenes depicting the king and the queen making offerings to the different deities.

At the end of the hall there is a doorway leading to a transverse Vestibule decorated with scene of the king Ramsis the II making offering to Re-Hor-Akhty while the queen presenting flowers to Khenum, Sat-tet and Anket.

The Transverse Hall leads to the Sanctuary which contains a niche in the rear wall with a statue of goddess Hathor as a cow protecting Ramsis II.

Then in course of time this Pn-pn was evolved to be a obelisk usually made of granite with a pyramidal shape on top.

During the 5th dynasty the obelisk began to play an important role inside the temples of Re.

It was erected on a great base in an open court then when the sun rays were fallen on its pyramidal top; the bright light filled the place to give the prayer a great emotion of the power of the sun. One of the most important obelisks which still stands in pride at the district of El Mataraya, is the one which was erected in front of the entrance of the vanished temple of Re at Heliopolis.

It was dedicated to the temple by king Senwsert I to commemorate the ceremony of the (Heb-sed).

In the New Kingdom,  especially at the time of the XVIII and XIX dynasties the kings used to erect obelisks in front of the different temple for religious and political reasons.

 

 

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