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Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel

1. Stepping inside

2. Temple of Hathor

3. Saved in 1964


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Stepping inside

Abu Simbel

One of the 8 pillars with a Ramses statue in front in the Hypostyle Hall.

The interior of the temple is smaller than many other temples, but with the exception of the side chambers, it is arranged according to the standard temple plan.
Right in from the entrance, a Hypostyle Hall is dominated by the 8 Ramses statues, all 10 metres tall, holding the ceiling up. The ceiling is adorned with flying vultures. The walls of this hall show the might of Ramses, and several paintings in good condition show how he kills his enemies. On the right-hand wall, scenes from the Battle of Kadesh (now northern Syria) in 1300 BCE indicate that the Egyptians fully defeated their opponents, the Hittites. The truth is that the Egyptians didn't succeed in conquering Kadesh.

Abu Simbel

Ramses to the right presents an offer to Re-Harakhte. This wall relief is from the transverse vestibule, right in front of the sanctuary.

There are two more rooms between the Hypostyle Hall and the sanctuary. The purpose of these rooms were limited, except to show more of the greatness of Ramses and Queen Nefertari. The first hall, with four pillars, show Ramses and Nefertari presenting offers at the sanctuary.

Abu Simbel

The holiest of the holy, the inner sanctuary. Four statues represent (left to right) Re-Harakhti, the deified Ramses 2, Amon-Re and Ptah.

The sanctuary contains 4 god statues, that were encased in gold. Small in size compared to the statues in front and the Hypostyle Hall, and mutilated, you do not get the feeling that you have entered upon the holiest of the holy of this temple.
On every February 22 and October 22, the sun ray reach across the Nile, penetrate the temple, move inside the temple, before it touches the four figures. All except the one of Ptah, the god of darkness. These dates were not accidental, as they correspond withe Ramses birthday (February 21) and coronation day (October 21). The shift in one day was the result of a small inaccuracy with the relocation of the temple).

By Tore Kjeilen