These two immense carved rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in the ancient Upper Egyptian region of Nubia, are dedicated to 13th century Pharaoh Ramesses II and his first wife Nefertari.
The two enormous rock temples of Abu Simbel were built in the 13th century BCE during the reign of the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramesses II, known as Ramesses the Great, and his queen Nefertari. Their construction, including the carving of the massive rock-cut statues of the royals, took twenty years.
Dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian gods Amun, Ra-Horakhty, and Ptah and to Ramesses himself, they are considered to be the most beautiful of the temples commissioned during the Pharaoh’s reign, placed by many tourists as a highlight on their travels around the country.
Buried in the sand for centuries, the temples were rediscovered at the beginning of the 19th century CE. They had to be dismantled and relocated in the 1960s to avoid damage by floods during the construction of the Aswan Dam. This incredible feat was achieved thanks to the financial support of a number of countries around the world; to show gratitude, Egypt donated four temples to the different nations who provided assistance, including the Temple of Debod, located in Madrid, Spain.
WHAT TO SEE IN ABU SIMBEL
As well as admiring the majestic architecture of the ancient temple complex during the daytime, if you decide to stay overnight in Abu Simbel, you’ll have time to experience the light and sound show put on every evening (at 6 PM in Winter and 7 pm in Summer).