Abu Simbel

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Abu Simbel
facts and tidbits

Abu Simbel has many:

Construction tim

It took several decades for the ancients to build the Abu Simbel, a wonder in southern Egypt.

Saved by sand

Most temples of antiquity are eventually physically altered, defiled or destroyed. This was not the fate of Abu Simbel because encroaching sands soon buried its lower half. It lay forgotten for millennia. Abu Simbel wasn't rediscovered and fully exposed until about 200 years ago.

Earthquake damage

The second from the left Pharaoh statue was severely damaged by an ancient earthquake. The shattered fallen head and torso lie at the statue's feet.

Artificial cliff

Originally, the backdrop of Abu Simbel was the cliff it was carved out of. Problem: The 1960s relocated temple would be on top of the cliff, which had no backdrop. Solution: Construct an artificial mountain behind the relocated temple's facade.

Most sacred chamber

Abu Simbel's innermost room lies at the end of a long corridor straight back from the temple's entrance. Once only the Pharaoh and high priests could go inside this ultra holy sanctuary. Now you can, too.

Equinox show

Twice a year a shaft of light from the rising sun mystically illuminates the deity statues inside the innermost room. This occurs during the spring and fall equinoxes (late February and October).

Rameses II

The man who commissioned Abu Simbel is considered the greatest Pharaoh ever. He reigned for a long time - 67 years (1279 to 1213 BC).


His 3200 year old mummy is dramatically displayed (head and hand are unwrapped) in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Learn More

for first Abu Simbel page

Read about each of Egypt's top 7

Pyramids of Egypt at Giza
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Egyptian Museum
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Abu Simbel
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