Abu Simbel

These two massive rock temples are at Abu Simbel, a village in Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. 

They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230km southwest of Aswan (about 300km by road).
The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments".
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. 
They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.

Between 1964 and 1968, the entire site was carefully cut into large blocks (up to 30 tonnes, averaging 20 tonnes), 
dismantled, lifted and reassembled in a new location
onto an artificial hill made from a domed structure, 
higher above the Aswan High Dam reservoir,
in one of the greatest challenges of archaeological engineering in history.

The relocation of the temples was necessary or they would have been submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser,
the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the River Nile.

We visited Egypt in August 1999 during our 14-week around-the-world tour.

Just after arrival at Abu Simbel airport on the Luxor Air 707.

Abu Simbel  is one of the great sights of the world that everyone must see once in their lifetime.
The original temples were built by Ramses II about 1270BC.

This is a photo of the Great Temple.

A close up view of the entrance to the Great Temple at Abu Simbel. 
These 4 colossal seated statues of Ramses II are about 21 metres high. 
They are accompanied by smaller standing statues of his relatives by his legs.

A closer view of one of the colossal seated statues of Ramses II.

A distant view of the other temple, the Small Temple at Abu Simbel.
This temple was dedicated to Hathor of Ibshek and Queen Nefertari.

A closer view of the 6 colossal standing statues of the Small Temple at Abu Simbel. 
They are about 10 metres high. 
Four of them represent the king (Ramses II) and two the queen (Nefertari),
each being flanked by princes and princesses.


Cartouches on the wall at Abu Simbel.

At the base of one of the colossal seated statues of Ramses II at the Great Temple at Abu Simbel. 
In this photo you see how massive these statues are.

The ankh-like key used in the main door at the Great Temple at Abu Simbel.
The ankh was a symbol of generation or enduring life.

Back to the plane after visiting the magnificent temples at Abu Simbel.

Some Abu Simbel pictures from my 1985 visit as part of my 13-week Bangkok - Hong Kong - Japan - Russia - Europe - Greece - Israel - Egypt - Singapore trip ...


Flying over the Aswan High Dam on the way back to Aswan.
The lake has changed the weather in this area. 
It is now more humid and there is a little more rain.