This small Nubian village just short of the border with Sudan is home to a magnificent Ancient Egyptian temple complex carved into a mountain, which has since been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Following the construction of the High Dam, rising Nile waters threatened to submerge the ancient Temples of Abu Simbel. Fortunately, they were successfully relocated 60 meters above the cliff in which they were originally built. Today, over 3,000 years after their construction, the majestic twin temples are widely recognized among Egypt’s essential Ancient Egyptian monuments, attracting and inspiring awe in visitors from all over the world.
The village and its towering temples are small enough to explore on foot. The largest temple of Abu Simbel was dedicated to Ramses II and the smaller to his wife Nefertari. Both were built in the 13th century BC. Ancient Egyptian architects constructed the great Temple of Ramses so that on two days of the year the sun’s rays illuminate the innermost chamber, exposing four magnificent statues of the gods: Ra, Amun, Ramses and Ptah.
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