Abu Simbel temples in Egypt, Aswan
The Abu Simbel temples are located at the Nubia region of Aswan governate in Egypt and are two large rock temples built on the western bank of Lake Nasser more than 3200 years ago. The remarkable feature of the temple was the positioning by the ancient architects who built them in a way that the rays of the sun would shine into the sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures of the back wall during 22 February and 22 October each year.
Aerial view of Abu Simbel
Panorama of the two temples
Image attribution to Schaengel @ Wiki
Main entrance at one of the temples
Image attribution to grahammhodgson @ Flickr
Close up at one of the statues outside the temples
Image attribution to spinkey @ Flickr
The construction of the temples started in 1264 BC and took around 20 years. The purpose of the Abu Simbel temples was to impress the southern neighbours and reinforce Egyptian religion Nubian region. By the 6th century, the temple has been out of use and slowly fell into decline, covered by sand and it was a forgotten temple until Swiss orientalist found it in 1813 and the temple was explored by by an Italian explorer in 1817. The temple was completely relocated to avoid it being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser in 1968.
30 foot statues of Rameses II at the entrance
Image attribution to bobbyxinhua @ Flickr
The eight Osiris pillars beside the entrance
Image attribution to Dennis Jarvis @ Flickr
The Abu Simbel temple at night
Image attribution to sutterpants @ Flickr
Baboon stone cravings on top of the Ramses statues
Getting there :
The nearest airport to the Abu Simbel temples is the Abu Simbel Airport (ABS) which is served by flights from Aswan and Cairo. The nearest international airport is the Aswan International Airport located 16 km to Aswan city, however it is only served by several airlines from London and Arabia internationally.