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Emanuele Squarci | profile | all galleries >> Ancient Egypt - Egitto classico >> Abu Simbel tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel temples refers to two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel in Nubia, southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 230 km southwest of Aswan. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
The Great Temple at Abu Simbel, which took about twenty years to build, was completed around year 24 of the reign of Rameses the Great (which corresponds to 1265 BCE). It was dedicated to the gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah, as well as to the deified Rameses himself. It is generally considered the grandest and most beautiful of the temples commissioned during the reign of Rameses II, and one of the most beautiful in Egypt.
The temple of Hathor and Nefertari, also known as the Small Temple, was built about one hundred meters northeast of the temple of Ramesses II and was dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramesses II's chief consort, Nefertari. (cfr.Wikipedia)
Bu Simbel: the two temples The Great Temple The Great Temple and the artificial hill Colosses 20 meters tall
Ramesses II with thw double crown of Lower and Upper Egypt The statue to the left of entrance was damaged in an eartquake The statues of wife Nefertari and of sons and daughters
The king worshiping the falcon-headed Ra Harakhti A row of baboons worshipping the rising sun
Inside eight huge Osirid pillars
The inner part of the Great Temple The Small Temple
Ramesses II and his wife Nefertari Queen Nefertari Nefertari's statues are equal in size to Ramesses II's ones