The Great Temple of Abu Simbel was carved out of solid rock in the 13th century B.C.E. to honor Ramsses II. Ramsses II built the smaller Hathor Temple to honor his favorite wife, Nefertari. In the 1960s as Lake Nasser was filling with water, UNESCO cut the temples from the cliff they were hewn out of and moved them to an artificial cliff 65m above their original location. The location is 172 miles south of Aswan. Photography is not allowed inside the temples. The four statues of Ramsses in front of the Great Temple are 20m high and wear the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The broken statue lost its head in the big earthquake of 27 B.C.E. which caused extensive damage throughout Egypt. Statues of Nefertari as goddess Hathor alternate with Ramsses II on the facade of the Hathor Temple.
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Last modified 29 June 2016