The Temple complex of Abu Simbel is one of the most striking historical sites of ancient Egypt. The complex consists of two temples. The first is the Temple of Amun of Ramses II and the second is the smaller temple of Queen Nefertari.
Ramses II is considered to be among the greatest builders of all time. He had an ambitious plan to construct many temples in Southern Egypt and Nubia to show the power of the ancient Egyptians. The most famous is the Temple of Abu Simble which was all carved in the rocks. The construction of the complex of Abu Simbel began in 1264 and it took the Pharaohs 20 years to complete it in 1244.
With centuries passing by, the temples were buried under the sand. The Swiss orientalist, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, discovered the temple in 1813. The legend says that there was a local boy, called Abu Simble, who led the discovery mission to it. After the construction of the High Dam, several monuments were about to be drawn in the water of the River Nile. A huge international campaign was launched to relocate the Temple of Abu Simbel in 1959. The real relocation works began in 1964 when workers cut the temple into huge pieces that were reassembled in its current location.
Abu Simbel is located today at the Southernmost point in Egypt. The complex is situated 384 kilometers to the South of Luxor, 282 kilometers to the South of Aswan, and 1130 kilometers to the South of Cairo.
The Great Temple of Amun in Abu Simble took around 20 years to be completed. Four huge statues, cut out of rocks, are located at the entrance at 20 meters in height and 35 meters in width. These statues represent Ramses II with the two crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.
The hypostyle hall of the temple is featured with huge pillars that represent Ramses II unified with Osiris. The walls of the temple, from inside, show the battles Ramses II won. The smaller temple of Queen Nefertari is dedicated to the goddess Hathour. It has an impressive pylon with striking rock-cut statues that grab the attention of tourists who visit Abu Simbel.