Moving the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel
We look back at the temple move of Abu Simbel.
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia, southern Egypt near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road).
The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments”, which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic.
The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.
The relocation of the temples was necessary or they would have been submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
Thinking of visiting?
Abu Simbel is a “must see” location for tourists and ancient Egypt enthusiasts, from all over the world. Alone the monument itself is incredible let alone the feat it took to move it to where it sits today.
Watch how the temple was moved from the nile to where it is today.
Maybe moving a temple such as Ramses II’s was a conclusion of a bad idea? Maybe they should have left it where it was to preserve its history? Comment your thoughts on this below.