History in Abu Simbel

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published by: Egypt last minute
The history of Abu Simbel is as rich as it can get. The two magnificent temples built by the famous Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II (Ram-uh-seez) way back in 1257 BC is a treasure trove of the land. Built on the western bank of the mighty Nile, to the south of Aswan, the region of Abu Simbel was once called the Nubia region by the locals.
King Ramses II, while setting up monuments and buildings along the banks of river Nile to commemorate his victories in wars, discovered this beautiful land by the river and ordered to build two temples dedicated to the sun gods Amon-Re and Re-Horakhte.

As known form the history of Abu Simbel, the land was originally just a sandstone cliff by the river Nile, near the Sudanese borders in Southern Egypt. After the place was discovered during the reign of King Ramses II, the twin temples were carved out on the face of the cliff with such architectural precision that it came to be considered as the next best wonders to the pyramids of Giza. Started in 1284 BC , it took almost circa 20 years to complete the temples.

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History of Egypt’s Abu Simbel has it that the original place where the magnificent temples were constructed is different from the place where the temples stand today. Due to the construction of the Aswan High Dams in 1960’s, as the high waters happened to threaten the beautiful temples, the Egyptian Government with the help of UNESCO shifted the temples to a higher and drier area which was 200ft higher than the original site of the temples. The massive temples were skillfully cut into 1036 pieces and moved block by block to the new location inorder to save the temples from flooding.

Today, though the original site is under Lake Nasser, the spell-bounding sun temples still stands upright to narrate the history of Abu Simbel. And as before the sun rays continue to enter the temples only twice a year to illuminate the eclectic statues of the two sun gods and of the king himself, who is seated inside the magnificent temple. Following the age-old tradition Sun festival is celebrated here on these days which are believed to be King Ramses II’s birthday and day of ascension to the throne. It is thus Abu Simbel’s history that attracts thousands of visitors from over the world to defy the hot weather and distance and watch the wonders of the land.

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