Abu Simbel Temple a known site in Egypt. The site has two temples which were built by King Ramses II, the temple is located at Aswan Muhafazah. In ancient time, the site was located facing Nubia on the frontier of Pharaonic Egypt. The temple is carved out from solid rock, today it has become one of the famous tourist destinations.
History of the Site
The site is considered as sacred to Hathor, long before King Ramses II. However, Ramses built the temple and dedicated it to Sun God Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re. It was unexplored and undiscovered till 1812. In the year 1813, the temple was discovered. It was then explored in depth in the year 1817 by an Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni. The area is marked as forecourt and bounded by brick wall on the north and south side. The temple is cut from the cliff, as a rock-cut terrace.
About the Abu Simbel Temple
The colossal -4 statues in front of the main temple are brilliant example of ancient Egyptian art. The complex and ace engineering, the temples were recovered from rising water of Nile River. A part of temple was carved out of the sandstone cliff on the south of Korosko. After Swiss researcher Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered new depth of the temple.
Tall 66-feet of figures of King Ramses are placed on both sides of the entrance of the main temple. Small figures are also carved out which represent Ramses’s Queen, children, his mother, Muttuy, Nefertari and so. The Graffiti inscribed on the southern side were paired by Greek private army. The temple has three halls extended to 185-feet, it is also decorated with Osiride statues of kings. The walls are also filled with paintings of Battle of Kadesh.
It’s observed that on 2-days of year when first ray of Sun penetrate to temple and illuminate the shrine’s innermost place. A Small temple is also dedicated to Nefertari Goddess of Hathor. The statue is adorned with fine detailing’s.
Aswan High Dam was built in 20-century, which threatened to sub-merge the Abu Simbel the popular tourist shrine. The shrine too was declared as a UNESCO World heritage site, which was then protected by Egypt government. Also a fund-raising and informational campaign was initiated by UNESCO in the year 1959.
Between the years 1963-1968 an international team was appointed to work on the heritage site, around 50-countries supported to fund for the protection. The temple was reconstructed and lifted around to 200-feet above previous site by moving 16,000 blocks. It was after the reconstruction and renovation the Abu Simbel was declared as a World Heritage site in the year 1979.