The Temples of Abu Simbel | TravelResearchOnline


The Temples of Abu Simbel

In southern Egypt, just above the border with Sudan, sits Abu Simbel. It is a small town that houses lesser-known temples that stand out as grand sites. Along the river considered to be the cradle of civilization, Abu Simbel rests next to where the Nile opens up to Lake Nassar. The desert region is home to perfect examples of Nubian monuments and musical traditions that date back thousands of years.

60-Second Geography

Abu Simbel, Egypt


Abu Simbel with Central Holidays

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  • The most prominent feature in Abu Simbel are the temples, The Great Temple of Ramses II and an accompanying smaller temple. Originally built at a lower level of the valley, the temples were relocated in an unprecedented effort to save them from the rising waters of a new dam blocking up the Nile River. The Great Temple of Ramses II has an entrance flanked by four seated statues of pharaoh Ramesses II, who ruled from 1303 – 1213 B.C. These statues stand at 69-feet, towering over the traveler as they visit this magnificent temple (though the temple itself reaches almost 110-feet). This great temple stretches 210-feet into the mountain, which leads through two atriums lined with pillars, and statues, depicting Ramses II as a victor of battles and favored by the gods. At the far end of the temple also sits statues of the gods Ra-Horakhty, Amun, and Ptah.



  • Connected to the same mountain, and to the right of the Great temple, is the Temple of Hathor and Nefertari. The entrance has six standing statues that reach over 33-feet. Four of the six statues are Ramsesses II, while two of them are of his wife Nefertari. Inside the temple are pillars with the face of Hathor (a major goddess of sky and women). The walls are covered with hieroglyphs in this one-room temple.



  • The statues of Ra-Horakhty, Amun, and Ptah are particularly relevant to the aesthetic of the temple. Twice a year, on Oct. 22nd and Feb. 22nd, the sunless rooms are illuminated by the exact placement during this Sun Festival. The depictions of Ra and Amun shine with the rising sun, while Ptah (the goddess of darkness) remains dark. This feat of engineering is celebrated by locals with a moment of reflection and meditation on welcoming the sun into the morning sky. Later in the day, the festivities begin. Everyone celebrates the occasion with music, dance, food, drinking, and shopping in the open-air markets. The festive time can be an eye-opening experience for the traveler, as the town buzzes with excitement and reverence.


While most travelers only visit Abu Simbel for a few hours as a stopover from cruises, the local culture offers up a chance to see more than a marvel of engineering. Nubian music beats like the heart of the Nile valleys, traditional cuisines taste as they always have, and the Sun Festival (Oct.22nd and Feb. 22nd) lets the traveler be a part of a local celebration. That’s why Central Holidays is offering up land and cruise trips to not only Abu Simbel, but Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, and much more. They understand the history and magnificence of Egypt’s monuments, and want to let the traveler in on the marvels of the Nile with carefully planned tours.

Pyramids Pharaohs & Paradise


Cairo and the mighty Nile’s riches await travelers who book the spectacular Pyramids, Pharaohs and Paradise travel tour. This 11-day Egypt tour with Nile cruise adventure includes both land excursions and a 3-night cruise on the Nile River where you will visit the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, and temples devoted to the great Ramses II, Nefertiti, Horus and more. In Cairo, Egypt’s cosmopolitan capital city, shop Egypt’s largest bazaar, Khan El Khalili, where you can haggle for Egyptian treasures to take home, or dine at cafes along the Nile River on delicious local cuisine.

Egypt in Style


From the pyramids of Cairo, to Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, and on to intriguing and impressive Alexandria, travel in style as you explore fascinating treasures and unforgettable moments on this splendid Central Holidays Egypt travel package adventure. Start your Egypt tour with Nile cruise experience in Cairo where you will see the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic artifacts and the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and experience Old Cairo and the Khan El Khalili Bazaar. Take in the famed sights of Luxor including the Temple of Karnak and Luxor Temple as well as the West Bank, including the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens.

Nubian Treasures


Travel to Egypt to experience the mysteries, treasures, and storied history of this awe-inspiring country, including the most popular sights as well as the lesser traversed gems of Nubia. Delve into Egyptian culture and excavations in Cairo, touring famed sights such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum that features the treasures of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Board your luxury vessel in Luxor for a leisurely sailing along the glorious Nile that takes you to delve into astounding antiquities in Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Aswan. Take in the famed sights of Luxor including the Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Colossi of Memnon, and more.


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