This morning it’s time to grab our passports again as we are headed to the Aswan airport for a short flight to the very south of Egypt. We are traveling to Abu Simbel, 26 miles from the Sudan border to see a jaw-dropping temple complex located in the Nubian region of Egypt.
This incredible set of temples was built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the thirteenth century BC and is regarded as one of the most impressive architectural feats in ancient Egypt.
The temples were built to honor Ramesses II and his wife Queen Nefertari and are so breathtaking that visiting the site is like stepping back in time. As soon as we arrive, we are amazed by the sheer size and grandness of the temple complex. Two enormous temples, one dedicated to Ramesses II and one to the goddess Hathor, are carved into the side of a cliff overlooking the Nile River.
The temple complex is famous for its colossal statues of Ramesses II, each standing something like 65 feet tall! These incredibly-detailed statues flank the entrance to the temple, looking out over visitors as they arrive. The walls of the temple are covered in hieroglyphics and illustrations, depicting scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology and the reign of Ramesses II.
As if all this were not enough, the temple complex is also famous for the incredible engineering feat that was necessary to preserve it. In the 1960s, the temples were threatened by the creation of the Aswan High Dam, which would have caused the temples to flood. In a remarkable act of engineering, the temples were carefully cut into large blocks and relocated to a higher location, where they still stand today.
Overall, Abu Simbel is an awe-inspiring feat of ancient Egyptian engineering, filled with history, beauty, and grandeur. Few sites in the world can compare to the sheer scale and majesty of the temple complex, making it a must-visit destination for anyone with a passion for history, architecture, or adventure.