Located deep in southern Egypt, the two rock-hewn temples of Abu Simbel were built by Egyptian King Ramses II between 1264 and 1224 BC and are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. They also represent a magnificent feat of modern engineering because they were relocated in the 1960s to stop them being submerged by the Nile’s rising waters after construction of the Aswan High Dam.
Abu Simbel is one of Egypt’s most famous sites. The four 20-meter tall statues of a seated Ramses II guard the entrance to the main temple, whilst the second, smaller temple is said to be for Queen Nefertari. The temples, carved into a cliff, are an impressive example of Egyptian sculpture and the might of King Ramses II. There’s accommodation close to the temples for longer stays, or Abu Simbel can be visited in an easy, 30-minute flight from Aswan. The Sound and Light Show is fantastic, as the melodious tunes and mesmerising lights dance around on the ancient rocks.
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