Temple of Abu Simbel Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Temple of Abu Simbel

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    Great Temple of Ramses II

    by sue_stone Written Jan 25, 2005

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    Great Temple of Ramses II

    The main draw card at Abu Simbel is the Great Temple of Ramses II.

    It was carved out of the mountain between 1274 and 1244 BC, dedicated to the great pharaoh Ramses II.

    There are 4 giant statues of Ramses (20 metres high) that look out over the water, and which were originally designed as a show of strength to passing boats who sailed into the pharaoh's land.

    Since it was built, centuries of moving sands and the waters of the Nile eventually covered the temple, and it was lost until 1813 when it was re-discovered.

    Most amazingly, when the Aswan High Dam was completed back in the 1960's, the entire temple had to be cut from the rocks, moved to higher ground and re-assembled exactly as it was.

    We stood in awe for some time, staring up at the magnificent statues and amazing at how such a temple was carved.

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    Temple of Hathor

    by sue_stone Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    Temple of Hathor

    The smaller of the 2 temples at Abu Simbel is the Temple of Hathor.

    To be honest I was pleasantly surprised to see it here, as I had never seen this temple featured in any photos, and thought that there was only one temple at Abu Simbel!

    The Temple of Hathor was dedicated to Ramses wife, Queen Nefertari.

    It is a smaller version of Ramses' temple, also carved into the mountain. At the front are 6 large statues - each about 10 metres high.

    Inside are more statues, pillars and various halls, covered in scenes depicting the Queen honouring her husband.

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    Lake Nasser

    by sue_stone Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    looking over Lake Nasser

    The amazing temples of Abu Simbel sit in a stunning location over looking the sparkling waters of Lake Nasser.

    This lake was formed when the Aswan High Dam was completed, and it is the largest artificial lake in the world - 310 miles long!

    It really makes for a beautiful outlook when you pay a visit to the temples, and you can also do a cruise on the lake.

    After visiting the temples we stopped for a while and stood and stared out to the calming blue waters.

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  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo

    Biannual Solar event at Abu Simbel temple

    by sayedaburas Updated Mar 24, 2005

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    Holiest of the holies

    An interesting thing, which shows the skill of the ancient Egyptian engineers is that twice a year on Feb. and October 21st, the anniversaries of the king’s birthday and coronation respectively, the sun would shine for 20 minutes right through the main temple into the innner sanctuary (Holiest of holies), where it would light up three out of the four statues there. The fourth statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, would remain unlit.

    While the groups of engineers and experts made every effort to preserve the necessary orientation, at the new site, to facilitate the temple complex’s famous solar event, the ambitious relocation project caused the even dates to shift by one day –from Feb 21 and Oct 21 to Feb 22 and Oct 22.

    By most accounts, this was a small price to pay to preserve one of the great monuments of Ancient Egypt.

    As you are aware Abu Simbel temples have been saved and relocated, due to the construction of Aswan High Dam that created the artifical Nasser Lake.

    Compare my relevant tip "The Sancturay": [http://p.vtourist.com/1/1926960-Sanctuary_artificially_lit-Temple_of_Abu_Simbel.jpg]

    For sound and light show kindly check my "nightl life" Tip

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    The King

    by sayedaburas Updated Feb 5, 2005

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    The facade
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    If the building of temples be an index to the prospertiy of the realm, then indeed Egypt was flourishing under Ramses II, for he surely erected more fanes up and down the land than any Pharoh before or since, though it must be admitted that he dismamtled older shrines and re-used the material.

    It is Nubia, however, which possesses the most astonishing construction of this reign, namely the two wel-known rock-cut temples of Abu simbel.

    The most remarkable archaeological site in this city is the two temples of Ramses II, he built the great temple for himself and dedicated it to Amun-re, Rehorakhty and to himself as the deified king, and he built the small temple to his beloved wife Nefertari and goddess of music, love and dancing Hathor.

    The broken colossal statue was crashed in an earthquake in the 31st year of Ramses II reign and three of its parts are fallen in front of the façade. .When the temple was moved , even these pieces were placed exactly the similar position as they fell.

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    The reconstruction technique

    by sayedaburas Updated Feb 6, 2005

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    The steel dome

    Abu Simbel Temples relocation process took 4 years, starting in 1964, and required the construction of a massive concrete steel dome, outside of which engineers designed to simulate the appearance of the original rock cliff.

    Two concrete domes were built above the temples to protect them from the weight of the rocks that were piled above them. The dome above the Great Temple is the largest manmade dome in the world, with a circumference of 60 metres and a height of 22 metres.

    That is to say, one can simultaneously admire ancient Egyptian engineering skills and world modern technologies..... Wonders will never cease....

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  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo

    The relocation

    by sayedaburas Updated Feb 6, 2005

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    The rock-cut temple

    The temple was a massive rock-cut. The name could be originated from the name of the mountain that contained the great temple; as the Nubians called it 'Absambal'. However, the ancient name of the city was 'Ibshek'

    Abu Simbel's two temples are unique among those of ancient Egypt. Unlike cult temples such as Luxor and Karnak, which were added to, and subtracted from, by many kings through many centuries, Abu Simbel was constructed by a single pharaoh, Ramesses II.

    The project cost 42 million dollars and was concluded in less than five years. It was started in November of 1963 and finished in September 1968

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  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo

    The first colonnade hall

    by sayedaburas Updated Feb 5, 2005

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    ceiling and columns

    The archticture of the temple is quite unique. The halls and walls had been hewn in the solid rock.

    Behind the entrance, there is a hall that contains eight pillars. The length of the hall is about 18 meters and its width is 16 meters. Such pillars divide this hall into three parts. The middle part is bigger than the other two parts. Each pillar had in its face a statue of the king in the form of god Osiris. The other three faces of the pillar bears religious scenes for the king in the presence of the different gods.

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  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo

    Ramses the sacred figure

    by sayedaburas Updated Apr 5, 2005

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    Ramses II worshipping god Horus

    Ramses II ruled Egypt for the longest period of a Pharaoh, he even shared the regeime of his father Seti First, in the 19th dynasty.

    Nevertheless, he is seen here at his own great temple as a Horus' worshipper too.

    For your guidance, ancient Egyptians used to start establishing temples and monuments for a Pharaoh -both for his lifetime and mortuary ones for his next life upon resurrection. That is to say the longer he rules the more he obtain. The vast monumets found everywhere allover Egypt shows his glorious era.(1290 - 1224 BC)

    BUT

    We perceive another exeptional case, I mean Tut-Ankh-Amum, who ruled for a shortest period (1352 - 1344 BC). Nontheless you are quite aware of his heritage...

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Inside the Great Temple of Ramses II

    by sue_stone Written Jan 25, 2005

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    Inside the Great Temple of Ramses II

    The inside the Great Temple of Ramses II consists of a large entrance hall, a second smaller hall leading to a 'sacred sanctuary', with several 'store rooms' off the main hall.

    The large entrance hall - the 'Great Hypostyle Hall' features several large statues of Ramses II (as shown in the photo).

    It was really interesting to walk through and look at all the scenes depicted on the walls of the different sections.

    Although very interesting, for me it didn't compare to the facade of the temple.

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    Great Temple Figures

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Sep 19, 2007

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    Abu Simbel - Great Temple Figure
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    We may see four colossal figures hewn from the solid rock in front of the massive facade of the Temple. They are more than 20m high. Seating on simple thrones, they are comparable in size with the Colossi of Memnon at Thebes. They dominate the mighty Temple facade.

    All four represent the deified Ramesses II. The two on the left represent him as Heka-tawi and Re-en-hekaw, the two on the right - as Meri-Amun and Meri-Atum. The figures are wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt and having the cartouches of Ramesses II. The thrones are decorated on their sides with Nile gods symbolically uniting Egypt.

    The King's mild countenance and characteristic nose are best preserved in the first of the colossi (far left). The second figure lost its head and shoulders in ancient times, perhaps as a result of a rock fall or an earthquake (or a combination of both), and these now lie on the ground in front of it.

    You may watch my VIDEO-Clip on my personal YouTube channel: 3 min 32 sec Egypt Abu Simbel Grand Temple Part I 2007

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    The Queen

    by sayedaburas Updated Feb 5, 2005

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    I repaeat:

    Ramses II built the small temple to his beloved wife Nefertaryo and goddess of music, love and dancing Hat-hor.
    ‘Piay’, the man who had executed the relieves of the temple carved his name secretly in the northeast wall of the Osiride hall.

    And add :

    His wife Nefertari could be the daughter of he nobles or of the king Seti I. Ramses II married her when he was 15 years old and provided him with six children. She remained his chief wife until her death in abut 24th year of his reign.

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    Lake Nasser

    by MalenaN Updated Jan 14, 2006

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    Lake Nasser in Abu Simbel

    Lake Nasser is one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world. It was created when the High Dam was built south of Aswan and it stretches more than 500 km south to Abu Simbel, and it has a maximum depth of 180 metres. A huge area was inundated and about 800 000 Nubians had to move from their homes. Also a lot of historical monuments and items are now deep under water, but several of the temples were saved and moved to higher ground, like Abu Simbel and Philae.
    It is possible to go on a cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel and on the way visit some of the saved temples.
    In the lake there are big Nile perches (the record is almost 100 kg) and crocodiles. Many migrating birds stop by the lake for rest. Other animals that can be seen around the lake are foxes, gazelles, snakes and monitor lizards.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Great Temple Façade

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Sep 19, 2007

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    Abu Simbel - Falcon headed god
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    There is the trapezoid facade of the Temple behind the four colossal figures. It represents the pylon found in freestanding temples.

    A frieze of 22 praying baboons runs along the top of the façade. Their hands raised to greet the rising sun, and below this is a cavetto cornice with royal cartouches surrounded by serpents and representations of Amun-Re (left) and Re-Harakhty (right). The sun god stands above the doorway in a niche, a falcon headed representation of Ramesses, holding a war-sceptre.

    The sides of the thrones next to the entrance are decorated with Nile gods symbolically uniting Egypt, while below are prisoners, representing conquered nations, to the left, African and to the right, Asian.

    You may watch my VIDEO-Clip on my personal YouTube channel: 1 min 45 sec Egypt Abu Simbel Grand Temple Part II 2007

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Great Temple of Ramses II

    by MalenaN Updated Jan 16, 2006

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    The Great Temple of Ramses II
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    The facade of the Great Temple of Ramses II is 33 metres high and 35 metres wide. The four colossal statues of Ramses are impressive with their height of over 20 metres. Well, one is broken as it lost its head in an earthquake 27 BC, but it lies on the ground below.
    As you enter the temple you will first come to the Great Hypostele Hall. I have seen other VT-members have photos from the inside, but unfortunately it was strictly forbidden taking photos when I visited. In the Great Hypostele Hall are eight more statues of Ramses, four on each side and each in front of a column. In the sanctuary are sitting statues of the four gods the temple is dedicated to; Ra-Harakhty, Ramses II, Amun and Ptah.
    The walls in every room are covered with relieves.

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