Temple of Abu Simbel Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Temple of Abu Simbel

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    Random pics of Abu Simbel

    by June.b Written Jun 9, 2011
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    It will be a waste if I don't put-up those pictures I took during my visit to Abu Simbel so am posting it here.

    And by the way, there are a couple of restaurants few meters from the road leading to the entrance of the temples. And also, there are lots of souvernir shops in case you are interested to buy some stuff, and yeah, like every popular sites in Egypt - there are lots of persistent sellers in and around the parking lot. Don't get annoyed, they're just trying to earn their income for the day and you can always say no.

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    Lake Nasser

    by June.b Updated Jun 9, 2011
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    Considered as the world's (or one of?) largest man-made lake. The lake was a result of the construction of the high dam of Aswan between 1958 and 1971.

    Lake Nasser was named after the former President Gamal Abdel Nasser who initiated the project. The lake measures 550 km long and 35 km across. It covers a total surface area of 5,250 km² and has a storage capacity of some 157 km³ of water.

    The blue water and the plateaus far beyond creates a dramatic backdrop (or front-drop, is there such a word?) to the temples of abu simbel. The lake extends upto the Sudan territory of Wadi Halfa Salient.

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    Temple of Nefertari

    by June.b Written Jun 9, 2011
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    Beside the Temple of Ramses II on the right side is the smaller temple, the Temple of Nefertari, and is dedicated to the goddess Hathor, personified Ramesses's most beloved wife Nefertari (the pharaoh had some 200 wives and concubines).

    By the way, you are not allowed to take photos inside the temples, there are security guards.

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    Temple of Ramses II

    by June.b Written Jun 9, 2011
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    Abu Simbel has 2 temples - the bigger - is the Temple of Ramses II, and dedicated to Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun, Egypt's 3 deities of the time. On the facade are 4 colossal statues of Ramses II. The second statue from the left has only the lower half body -- upper body lays near the feet.

    Prior to coming to Egypt, I watched the BBC documentary on Belzoni and it was an amazing feeling that I am really there and looking at the temple like it was almost unreal.

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    The trip

    by lvdpiet Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The trip was taken from the city of Aswan. Another 280 km (165 miles) with a convoy through the desert of sand. It took us 3 hours to do it, but than you can look at something very impressive! Take a good look at the pictures in the travelogue and maybe you agree with me, this is something impressive to see in real life.

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    Man-made mountain in honor of Sun God, Ra

    by DSwede Updated Mar 13, 2011
    Abu Simbel

    Originally located under the current water level made by the Aswan Dam, the Temple of Abu Simbel was moved brick by brick along with the mountain it is carved into.

    You can easily marvel at the size of the facade and the intricate details of the inner rooms.

    However, if you read your history books or pay attention to your guide (if you choose to have one), you can loose yourself wondering how they ancients managed to build the temple to such exact intents. In the inner most room, there are 4 statues (Ptah, Amun-Ra, the deified Ramses II, and Re-Horakhte). The statues of the deities are only illuminated during the rising sun on the solstices and remain in shadow for the rest of the year.

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    Abu Simbel Temple Inside View.

    by goutammitra Updated Oct 25, 2010

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    From the hypostyle hall, one enters the second pillared hall, which has four pillars decorated with beautiful scenes of offerings to the gods. There are depictions of Ramesses and Nefertari with the sacred boats of Amun and Ra-Harakhti. This hall gives access to a transverse vestibule in the middle of which is the entrance to the sanctuary. Here, on a black wall, are rock cut sculptures of four seated figures: Ra-Horakhty, the deified king Ramesses, and the gods Amun Ra and Ptah. Ra-Horakhty, Amun Ra and Ptah were the main divinities in that period and their cult centers were at Heliopolis, Thebes and Memphis respectively.

    It is believed that the axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on October 21 and February 21 (61 days before and 61 days after the Winter Solstice), the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark.

    These dates are allegedly the king's birthday and coronation day respectively, but there is no evidence to support this, though it is quite logical to assume that these dates had some relation to a great event, such as the jubilee celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the pharaoh's rule.

    In fact, according to calculations made on the basis of the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (Sothis) and inscriptions found by archaeologists, this date must have been October 22. This image of the king was enhanced and revitalized by the energy of the solar star, and the deified Ramesses Great could take his place next to Amun Ra and Ra-Horakhty.

    Due to the displacement of the temple and/or the accumulated drift of the Tropic of Cancer during the past 3,280 years, it is widely believed that each of these two events has moved one day closer to the Solstice, so they would be occurring on October 22 and February 20 (60 days before and 60 days after the Solstice, respectively).

    The NOAA Solar Position Calculator may be used to verify the declination of the Sun for any location on Earth, at any particular date and time. For the latitude of Abu Simbel 22¡Æ20¡Ç13¡ÈN 31¡Æ37¡Ç32¡ÈE / 22.33694¡ÆN 31.62556¡ÆE / 22.33694; 31.62556, the calculator will yield values close to -11¨¬ for both Oct 22 and Feb 20.

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    Temple of Ramesis II

    by goutammitra Updated Oct 24, 2010

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    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.

    Four colossal 20 meter statues of the pharaoh with the double Atef crown of Upper and Lower Egypt decorate the facade of the temple, which is 35 meters wide and is topped by a frieze with 22 baboons, worshippers of the sun and flank the entrance. The colossal statues were sculptured directly from the rock in which the temple was located before it was moved. All statues represent Ramesses II, seated on a throne and wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The statue to the left of the entrance was damaged in an earthquake, leaving only the lower part of the statue still intact. The head and torso can still be seen at the statue's feet.

    Next to the legs of the colossi, there are other statues no higher than the knees of the pharaoh. These depict Nefertari, Ramesses's chief wife, and queen mother Mut-Tuy, his first two sons Amun-her-khepeshef, Ramesses, and his first six daughters Bintanath, Baketmut, Nefertari, Meritamen, Nebettawy and Isetnofret.

    The entrance itself is crowned by a bas-relief representing two images of the king worshiping the falcon-headed Ra Harakhti, whose statue stands in a large niche. This god is holding the hieroglyph user in his right hand and a feather while Ma'at, (the goddess of truth and justice) in on his left; this is nothing less than a gigantic cryptogram for Ramesses II's throne name, User-Maat-Re. The facade is topped by a row of 22 baboons, their arms raised in the air, supposedly worshipping the rising sun. Another notable feature of the facade is a stele which records the marriage of Ramesses with a daughter of king Hattusili III, which sealed the peace between Egypt and the Hittites.

    The inner part of the temple has the same triangular layout that most ancient Egyptian temples follow, with rooms decreasing in size from the entrance to the sanctuary. The temple is complex in structure and quite unusual because of its many side chambers. The hypostyle hall (sometimes also called pronaos) is 18 meters long and 16,7 meters wide and is supported by eight huge Osirid pillars depicting the deified Ramses linked to the god Osiris, the god of the Underworld, to indicate the everlasting nature of the pharaoh. The colossal statues along the left-hand wall bear the white crown of Upper Egypt, while those on the opposite side are wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt(pschent). The bas-reliefs on the walls of the pronaos depict battle scenes in the military campaigns the ruler waged. Much of the sculpture is given to the Battle of Kadesh, on the Orontes river in present-day Syria, in which the Egyptian king fought against the Hittites. The most famous relief shows the king on his chariot shooting arrows against his fleeing enemies, who are being taken prisoner. Other scenes show Egyptian victories in Libya and Nubia.

    From the hypostyle hall, one enters the second pillared hall, which has four pillars decorated with beautiful scenes of offerings to the gods. There are depictions of Ramesses and Nefertari with the sacred boats of Amun and Ra-Harakhti. This hall gives access to a transverse vestibule in the middle of which is the entrance to the sanctuary. Here, on a black wall, are rock cut sculptures of four seated figures: Ra-Horakhty, the deified king Ramesses, and the gods Amun Ra and Ptah. Ra-Horakhty, Amun Ra and Ptah were the main divinities in that period and their cult centers were at Heliopolis, Thebes and Memphis respectively.

    History: Courtesy Wikipidia.

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    The Great Temple of Ramses II

    by uglyscot Updated Nov 15, 2009

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    Ramses II Great Temple
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    The temples had been covered by sand and were not discovered until 1813 by JJ Burckhardt. The facade has 4 statues of Ramses II, one badly damaged in an earthquake, each 20 m high.They were carved from the rock face.. Between the statues are the cartouches bearing his name Ramses, and his private name, Usermaatre.
    At his feet are small statues of his children, mother, some wives and a group of hawks [Horus] and Osiris statues.

    In 1968 before the Aswan High Dam flooded the area, an international rescue operation dismantled and relocated the temples 200 feet above and 600 west of the original location.

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    children of Ramses II

    by uglyscot Updated Nov 15, 2009

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    the children

    Ramses II sired many children in his long life to several wives.
    Some of his favourite children appear as small statues at his feet on the Temple facade, as well as his wife, mother and minor queen.
    The children that can be recognised are his daughters Princess Bent'anta, Nebettawyby, Beketmut, Merytamun and Nofretari; and sons Prince Amenhirkhopshef and Riameses.

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    The Temple of Nefertari

    by uglyscot Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Temple of Nefertari

    The smaller temple was dedicated to Nefertari, the favourite wife of Ramses II. It lies to the north of the great Temple. The facade has 6 standing statues, 4 of Ramses II and 2 of Nefertari.
    Inside is a single chamber with scenes of Ramses making offerings, and Nefertari participating in the same rituals as Ramses.
    There is also a carving of Hathor as a cow, one of her representations.

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    go inside the temples of Abu Simbel

    by uglyscot Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    entrance to Abu Simbel temple

    From the outside you get a good idea of the larger than life person that was Ramses II, but inside you see him worshipped as a god. This was not strange as to the Ancient Egyptians the king was god on earth. His health and happiness were paramount. On him the happiness and well being of the kingdom depended.
    Unfortunately it was not possible to take good pictures inside as there were just too many people about.
    The outside of the temples has 4 statues of Ramses, each 20 m in height.
    Inside are 8 Osiride statues.
    The sun shines onto the statues twice a year on October 22 [his birthday, it is claimed] and 22 February [his coronation day]

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    Prisoners

    by uglyscot Updated Nov 14, 2009

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    Nubian prisoners
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    Look at the carvings of bound prisoners. This is a common sight on the walls of the tombs of Pharaohs, whether or not they actually went into battle or not. Friezes of kneeling prisoners with hands and legs bound indicate the power of the Pharaoh of other lands subjugated by them.
    The features of the prisoners identifies their country of origin. Those illustrated are Nubians with their short hair, Sudanese with feathers in their hair, and bearded Libyans.

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    Arriving at the Temple

    by K.Knight Updated Oct 30, 2009

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    The entry cost is 80 Egyptian Ponds

    Once you have endured you long and lonely 300 kilometer trek from Aswan, you will arrive at the car park of the famous Abu Simbel.

    You guide will present you with an entry ticket for two temples. This will allow you entry into both the Temple of Ramses II. and the Temple of Hathor.

    You will notice that the entry cost is 80 Egyptian Ponds, approx US$13 and you will realize that the US$85 fee to travel here is a little high, but worth it!

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    The return Journey.

    by K.Knight Written Oct 30, 2009

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    The journey home

    It was kind of sad to leave the Temple of Abu Simbel. I had wanted to visit this ancient site since I was young and it seemed that the 3 hours that we got to spend here just wasn’t enough.

    Anne and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the entire day, but I must say that I was not looking forward to the return trip back. The 3 hour drive was in front of us and we were exhausted from the late night last night, the early rise, the trip down, 52 degree Celsius heat and the walking.

    It was surprising just how fast the trip back took...I slept most of the way!

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