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Abu Simbel Temple: Home of the Legendary Sun Feast

Abu Simbel Temple: Home of the Legendary Sun Feast

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These ancient temples have a protracted and engaging history and are one among the foremost intriguing and unforgettable attractions in Egypt.


in an exceedingly village 280 kilometre south of Aswan, you’ll realize a posh of temples dedicated to the ruler Ramses II. it’s aforesaid that the imposing statues on the front of this temple were designed to scare potential enemies who were approaching Egypt’s southern region from the Nile. They still evoke awe in everybody who sets eyes on them.


whereas the pyramids of metropolis are the most picture artifacts from the planet of the traditional Egyptians, these 3,000 year previous temples are a detailed second. they’re one among the foremost spectacular structures of ancient Egypt – particularly once you think about the story of however these temples were fastidiously disassembled, enraptured and reassembled within the place wherever they are today.


The temples of Abu Simbel are a must-see whereas you’re in Egypt, thus ensure you embrace a visit on your itinerary. browse a lot of to be told more about the main points of the temples, their history and therefore the legendary Sun feast.


What to Expect


the doorway to the present unbelievable website is placing – it is topped by a carving of Ramses worshiping the god Re-Horakhty with the pinnacle of a falcon (who is additionally referred to as Ra). The four sitting statues at the doorway depict this legendary ruler sporting a headdress, kilt, double crown and a false beard. His young and handsome face is finely carved within the stone – he was solely in his 20s once construction on the temple began. The depiction is unbelievable in it’s scale – his lips are over a meter across.


round the legs of those four prodigious statues are many smaller statues that depict the relatives of the pharaoh. This includes the pharaoh’s mother, his sons and daughters and his married woman Nefertari. you’ll additionally see depictions of twenty-two baboons – their cry was believed to welcome the rising sun and that they are delineated with their hands raised high.


As you rehearse the seven meter high entrance into the inside of the temple, you will right away feel the temperature distinction as you shake off the blazing Egyptian sun. The inner rooms of the temples have constant triangular layout that almost all ancient Egyptian temples are best-known to follow – with rooms that decrease in size from the doorway to the sanctuary. among the temple you’ll realize depictions of Ramses because the god Osiris. The atrium additionally has empty storerooms on the sides.


Pay shut attention whereas exploring the temples – you will see that each in. of this unbelievable building has been crafted with wonderful attention to detail.


The History of Abu Simbel


These gorgeous structures took twenty years to create – construction began in 1244 before Christ and was finished around 1224 BC.


Eventually, the temples stopped being employed and fell to ruin, lined with desert sand over the years. By the sixth century, the good Temple was nearly utterly buried within the sand and was forgotten regarding till it absolutely was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century.


it absolutely was in 1813 that Abu Simbel was discovered by a scholar from Switzerland, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. He was on his answer of the world once he saw the front of the great temple – the prodigious statues had been buried up to their necks in sand. He noncommissioned the assistance of his friend Giovanni Belzoni from Italia to finish the excavation. However, though they tried they were United Nationsable to dig out the doorway of the temple.


Belzoni came back in 1817 with nation archaeologist William John Bankes. He was able to reveal the entrance and enter the bottom of the monument. So, he took all little bit of treasure and the other item important with him… and left.


it’s believed that Abu Simbel wasn’t the name given to the temples once they were built, however rather the name of a young boy who had originally guided a people scholar Burckhardt to the site. Historians don’t grasp what the traditional Egyptians would have known as the advanced as this data has been lost in time.


Moving the Temples: a colossal Project


The temples at Abu Simbel don’t seem to be within their original location – they were at one time situated any down the slope facing the Nile River in the same relative positions. However, thanks to the rising waters of Lake Nasser once the Egyptian government designed the city High Dam on the Nile River, these original locations are currently underwater.


So, so as to preserve the buildings the temples were fastidiously enraptured in the 1060s. every one was sawed into numbered stone cubes, enraptured uphill and meticulously reassembled. The project was beneathtaken by a talented team of 3,000 workers, archeologists, instrumentality operators and engineers who were operating along under the banner of UNESCO.


charge was taken to create certain that they were reassembled within the same original orientation to every different and to the sun. Even a semisynthetic mountain was constructed, to make it appear as if they were take the rock cliff. At the time, the project price a complete of $40 million – that could be a respectable quantity in the 1960s. the world wherever the temple was originally located is currently flooded.


King Ramses the Second: Builder of Abu Simbel


King Ramses earned the title of “the Great Pharaoh” largely as a result of he designed several prodigious statues and massive monuments. In fact, more buildings were erected throughout his rule than the other Egyptian king. moreover as building the temple here at Abu Simbel he also had many other Egyptian landmarks made like the Temple at Karnak within the East Bank of urban center and therefore the mortuary temple Ramesseum, that is found in the geographical area of Luxor and solely a mile a way from vale of the Kings and vale of the Queens.


you’ll see these spectacular buildings and far a lot of on any luxury Egypt tours. Ramses designed monuments to himself in each major town in Egypt – from north to south.


Ramses would even take monuments made by previous pharaohs and destroy them, then use the materials to create his own projects. For example, a number of the blocks from Chefren’s pyramid at metropolis were taken to assist build the bottom of Ptah’s nice Temple in Memphis. He was keen about building monuments to represent his glory and though his efforts were oil-fired by vanity, they did lead to some glorious structures that we are able to still admire today.


Ramses selected to create the temples on this website as a result of it absolutely was already thought-about sacred to Hathor, who was the immortal of joy, relationship and love. By building this non secular site, his divinity was reinforced within the eyes of his ancient Egyptian followers.


Constructing this temple convinced the individuals of Egypt that Ramses was corresponding to a god. He had his name emblazoned on everything in order that for years to return his memory and his name would live on forever. Building a temple to himself as a god wouldn’t are accepted among the priest category in Thebes, that is why Abu Simbel was made three hundred miles to the south for this purpose.


moreover as abidance himself, Ramses was also making an attempt to intimidate the Nubians – Egypt’s neighbors as well as force his faith on them. He also meant the Abu Simbel temple to be a monument observance his conclusion at the battle of Kadesh.


King Ramses and Nefertari: the tiny Temple for the Queen


King Ramses II designed the tiny Temple at Abu Simbel as a monument to his lovely and far idolised queen Nefertari. it’s situated simply north of the most temple ANd it is smaller in size.


This was solely the second time in history that an ancient Egyptian temple was in-built honor of a queen (the 1st was once Akhenaten) dedicated a temple to his nice royal wife, Nefertiti. These are a number of the foremost spectacular monuments within the country and that they are a must-see on any of the most effective Egypt tours.


Nefertari’s name meant “beautiful companion” and she or he is one among the most famous Egyptian queens in history. She was AN uncommon lady for her time – she was educated and able to browse and write hieroglyphics that was uncommon for females at the time. She was a extremely masterly diplomat, human activity with different distinguished members of royalty at the time.


Ramses idolised her immensely. during this temple, the state of Nefertari was carved constant size because the ruler himself. this is often significant, because it is that the 1st time that a sculpture of a Pharaoh’s married woman was created to be the same size as her husband – typically the statues of wives ne’er stood any above the Pharoah’s knees.


By creating their statues constant size, Ramses was stating that he idolised and revered Nefertari as his equal. Nefertari is additionally delineated among the Great Temple – she is one among the ladies of the royalty who is shown beside the prodigious statues of Ramesses II that stand before the temple.


As you rehearse the inside of the tiny Temple, you’ll realize another space adorned with scenes of Nefertari and Ramses II interacting with varied gods. On the rear wall of the inner room, you’ll see Nefertari being topped by Hathor and Isis.

Not solely are these paintings implausibly beautiful, however they additionally tell America plenty regarding what the Egyptians believed about the hereafter and Judgement Day.


what’s the Sun Feast?


once the good Temple was constructed, it absolutely was designed exactly with the position of the sun in mind. On 2 days of the year, February twenty second and Oct 22nd, the sun can line up absolutely with the temple and daylight will penetrate fifty five meters into the inner rooms of the temple – bathing the statues on the back wall up bright light. the sole sculpture that’sn’t well-lighted by the sun is Ptah, the god of the Underworld.


there’s little question that Ramses designed the temple during this manner so as to any promote the concept that he was up to the gods. His depiction is one among the sculptures that is illuminated, at the side of statues of Ra and Amun. it’s seemingly that these 2 dates per annum were related to a special ceremony, ritual or festival.


individuals from everywhere the planet gather at the temple throughout these dates in order to witness this unbelievable sight. Special visits to check this event are a number of the foremost exciting and wanted escorted tours Egypt needs to offer.


Why were these dates significant? nobody is aware of for sure, however it’s thought that they represent Ramses II’s initiation date and his birthday. there’s no evidence to support this, but it is logical to assume that the temple would are designed in order that these dates had some reference to a good event.


Visiting the Abu Simbel Temple


of late the temples are one among the most visited attractions on Egypt tours and that they even feature a sound and light-weight show with headphones provided to listen to the audio commentary.


Thousands of holiday {makers} return to check the temples each day, typically inbound via plane to the sphere that was made close to the temples. Tourists additionally arrive via bus by guarded convoys outward from the close town of Aswan.


However, several opt to fly to avoid the long and hot bus journey over the desert sands. it’s a bit bit out of the way, however it’s spectacular size and sheer beauty make it definitely worth the extra journey.


the most effective time to reach the temples is as early as doable, as you’ll beat the warmth of the center of the day and can additionally avoid the big crowds of tourists. Most tourists will arrive by mid-morning, however the temples will open at 5am so it’s possible to go to them within the cool hours simply once sunrise to admire the manner they appear in the early morning light.


No cameras are allowed among the inside of the structures, for concern of harm and weakening to the fragile carvings and paintings.


Visiting the temples with a non-public guide is extremely recommended. A knowledgeable guide who understands Egyptian history in nice depth are going to be able to reveal aspects of the temple that you just would miss initially glance. they’re going to be able to share fascinating stories of the history of the temple, moreover because the that means and symbolism of its creative motifs.

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