Cleaved out of a solid cliff in the thirteenth century BC, the Great Temple of Abu Simbel and the smaller temple of Hathor make for a breathtaking sight. Dedicated to the patron of deities of Egypt’s great cities, the Great Temple was built to honour Ramses II.
Its thirty-three metres façade with four colossal enthroned statues of the King bearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt were intended to impress and frighten. At the same time, the interior revealed the union of God and King.
We must thank UNESCO for cutting them from the mountain and moving them to an artificial cliff two hundred metres back and sixty-five metres above their original position when Lake Nassar was created in the 1960s.
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