CAIRO – 11 March 2021: Abu Simbel Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On March 11, the stations of the National Seismological Network of the National Institute for Astronomical Research recorded an earthquake 48 km northwest of Abu Simbel city, without affecting the archaeological area.
The Abu Simbel site includes two temples, namely the great Abu Simbel temple, which was dedicated to the worship of Ra-Horakhty, Amun Ra Ptah and the king himself, and the small Abu Simbel Temple, which is located 100 meters from the first temple and was dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Queen Nefertari, the main wife of the king.
The name Abu Simbel was given to this site by the Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt known as “Ibrahim Burckhardt” who discovered the site in 1813 AD when a child named “Abu Simbel” took him there.
The importance of the great Abu Simbel Temple is due to its association with the solar phenomenon of the sun crossing the face of the statue of Pharaoh Ramses II twice a year.
The first coincides with his birthday, which corresponds to October 22, and the second, on February 22, commemorates his coronation.
The temple also features a unique architectural design, as its façade is pitted in the rock, and it is decorated with four huge statues of King Ramses II, each of which reaches about 20 meters in length.
The facade is followed by a corridor that leads to the interior of the temple, which was pecked in the rock at a depth of 48 meters.
Its walls are decorated with scenes recording the victories of the king and his conquests, including the Battle of Kadesh, in which he defeated the Hittites, in addition to the religious scenes that depict the king in his relations with Egyptian deities.
As for the small temple of Abu Simbel, King Ramses II presented it to Queen Nefertari, his main wife and his lover.
Its façade is adorned with six huge statues of equal size, representing the king and the queen, in a clear demonstration of the high position the queen enjoyed with the king.
The temple extends into the plateau, with a depth of 24 meters. Its interior walls are adorned with a group of wonderful scenes that depict the queen worshiping various deities, either with the king or alone.