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Abu Simbel, The Only Temple Dedicated To The Kings Consort

Abu Simbel, located in Egypt, more precisely in Nubia, is an archaeological complex made up of 2 temples, both carved into rock surface, called the Great Temple and the Small Temple. It is known for the extraordinary ponderous stone statues of Ramses II (or Ramses the Great) and his wife: Nefertari. The position of Abu Simbel, chosen by Ramses, was the southern gateway to Egypt and served more as a way to intimidate and impress the neighbors.

The Great Temple (also called the Temple of Ramses) was dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian Gods: Ra-Harakhty, Ptah, Amnu and it consists of four colossal statues, each of them measuring 20 meters high. These statues depict the pharaoh Ramses II and the Royal Family, who were actually carved below Ramses, at half his height. The great temple is considered to be the most beautiful temple built by this Pharaoh. On the walls of the building is described the Battle of Kadesh, the one that Ramses had with the Hittites. It is a unique temple because of the way the sun shines the four statues inside the temple.

The Small Temple was located north of the first temple and Ramses II dedicated it to his queen Nefertari and to Hathor, the Ancient Egypt goddess of beauty and love. Not as brilliant as the Great Temple, the Lesser Temple is still impressive, having three wonderful features: the Large Hall, the Vestibule and the Sanctuary. The temple is a rare example in which both the king and the queen are symbolized by statues with the exact same size, being the only temple dedicated to the kings consort. This fact is very unusual because traditionally, the queen cannot be represented higher than the pharaohs knees. Thats why this can be considered a sign of respect to Nefertari.

If you want to visit the Abu Simbel temple you can take a flight from Cairo. Another option would be to travel by boat across Lake Nasser but it is up to you which way you will choose. You must know that the weather is extremely hot so you should take some sunglasses and a lot of water with you. You should visit both temples because you do not have anything to lose, trust me. Admiring those giant statues built with an artificial rock mountain behind them can be an incredible experience for each of you.

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