Sep 9, 2009 11:25 PM

Abu Simbel

The temple of Abu Simbel was built around 1300 before christ in Egypt. Ramses II. The Great was ruling and leading Egypt to their prime, economically and cultural. It was a time of peace and he had the goal to build great monuments all around the country, to show how mighty he was. He built 2 temples in Abu Simbel, a big and a small one, one for himself and one for his "favorite wife". The crazy thing about it is, that these monuments weren't built like the pyramids, stone by stone, they had to carve the temples out of 2 enormous rocks, with simple bronze and stone tools. Thousands of tons of limestone had to be removed, to get 180 feet deep into the enormous rock. It took over 20 years, but Ramses II. was overwhelmed by what his workers did.
One the left and on the right side of the entrance you can find 2 enormous statues (see picture above) that are 60 feet tall, which all show Ramses II. himself. On the inside of the big temple are one huge and a lot of small side chambers. There are also 4 statues which show the gods Re-Harachte, Ptah, Amun-Re and the "Godking" Ramses II. himself. They were put in a special place, so the sun shines on them every October 20th and February 20th.

The small temple that was built for his favorite wife Nefertari was smaller, but it was exceptional that he even built one for a woman. Her statue was the same size as his, which was new because the women of the kings were usually made a lot smaller and just reached up to the king's knees.
In the 1960's they had to relocate the 2 temples due to the new Assuan dam, which might have flooded the temples. In one of the biggest projects ever they cut the 20.000 tons of stone into 1036 pieces and built up again around 500ft away.

For more inforation you can check wikipedia!

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