Abu Simbel

"… A witness turnedto stone as evidence to posterity of the power of the divine Pharaoh".

TheGreat Temple of Ramses II
Not only are the two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificentmonuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction were historicevents also. When the temples (280km from Aswan) were threatened by submersionin Lake Nasser, due to the construction of theHigh Dam, the Egyptian Government securedthe support of UNESCO and launched a world-wide appeal.During the salvage operation, which began in 1964 and continued until 1968, thetwo temples were dismantled and raised over 60m.

Up the sandstone cliff where they had been built more than 3000 years ago. Herethey were reassembled, in the same proportions, and covered with an artificialmountain. Most of the joins in the stone have now been filled by antiquityexperts, but inside the temples, it is still possible to see where the blockswere cut. You can also go inside the man-made dome and see an exhibition ofphotographs showing the different stages of the massive removal project.


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