Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel is the location of two ancient temples built by the
Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. It was
built between 1264-1224 B.C during Ramses reign. Abu Simbel was
carved out of a sandstone cliff of
the West bank of the Nile. There are four 66 foot statues of Ramses II in front
of the main temple. Carved around the statues feet are
smaller figures of Ramses children, his Great Wife Nefertari and his
mother, Muttuy. Abu Simbel was dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re
and Re-Horakhte. The Main Temple consists of three consecutive halls that extend
185 feet into the temple. The halls are
decorated with statues of Ramses and painted scenes of Egypt's
victory against the Hittites in the
Battle of Kadesh. Only on two days of the year, the morning rays of the
sun penetrate the temple. Just to the north
of the main temple is a smaller one dedicated to Ramses Great
Wife Nefertari. It is used to worship the goddess of love Hathor
and is adorned with 35-foot statues of Ramses and Nefetari.
Abu Simbel was first explored in 1817 by the early
Egyptologist Giovanni Battista.