Sphinx

Abu Simbel –The Twin Temple of Ramesses II

There are some things in life that are hard to believe to be from this world or even exist in our realms like the legendary Abu Simbel temples; which stand as a holy guardian and a living proof of the marvelous glory and pride of the ancient Egyptians. Abu Simbel temples are located in the Nubian village in southern Egypt; about 230 km southwest of Aswan near the borders of Sudan. They carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century B.C during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II; taking 20 full years from1264 BC till 1244 BC. They created to celebrate Ramesses’ victory at the Battle of Kadesh and as a show of Egyptian power.

 

This site is the most famous in all of Egypt after the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Today they are a UNESCO World Heritage site; along with a number of other UNESCO sites in Nubia from Abu Simbel Temples to Philae Temple near Aswan. The Swiss explorer John Lewis Burckhardt, who led to the site by an Egyptian Nubian boy called Abu Simbel, rediscovered the temple after it buried under the sand for a long time in 1813. Four years later in 1817, Giovanni Battista Belzoni managed to remove some of the sand and find the entrance into the temple. The sand was entirely removed from the temple in 1909 to become one of Egypt’s most incredible attractions.

Who is Ramses II?

Ramses II was the son of Seti I and Queen Tuya. He was born around 1303 BC in Ancient Egypt. Ramses II was also the great ruler of Egypt from 1279 until 1213 B.C. He called also Ramses the great as he was the most powerful pharaoh in the Egypt New Kingdom. Ramses II has built a lot of mesmerizing constructions all through Egypt and Nubia. His most mesmerizing temples are the Ramesseum in Karnak temple and the temples of Abu Simbel. He even established a capital city in Delta called Pi-Ramses.  He died at the age of ninety-six. And through his lifetime, he had over 200 wives, ninety-three sons, and sixty daughters, most of whom he outlived. There is no ancient site in Egypt, which does not make mention of Ramses the Great because of his great accomplishments.

The Great Temple of Ramses II

 

The great Temple was built by King Ramses II. It is dedicated to the Gods Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon, Ptah, and King Ramses II as a deified King. The temple facade is 35m long and 30m high, with four 20m tall seated colossi of the King seated on his throne wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, accompanied by 3 small figures of his wives, daughters, and sons around his legs.

Inside the temple, there are three consecutive halls reaching up to 56m till the end of the temple. The hypostyle hall is 16.7 m wide, 18 m tall, and supported by eight massive Osiris pillars which cut into the rock, with walls decorated by battle and offering scenes. There are some side rooms leading from the hall, which also decorated with various scenes. At the far end of the Temple is the sanctuary, which contains four statues: Re-Hor-Akhty, Amon-Re, Ptah, and the deified Ramses II.

The Small Temple of Queen Nefertari

King Ramses II built the Small Temple at Abu Simbel as a monument to his beautiful and much-loved queen Nefertari. It dedicated also to the goddess Hathor. It is located just north of the main temple and it is smaller in size. This was only the second time in history that an ancient Egyptian temple built in honor of a queen; the first was when Akhenaten dedicated a temple to his great royal wife, Nefertiti.

On the front of the temple, there are six colossal statues about 10 meters high. Four of them represent Ramses II and the other two represent Queen Nefertari, each is accompanied by two smaller figures of their children. The entrance leads to a square hall, which supported by six Hathor-headed pillars decorated with depictions of the King and the Queen making offerings to different deities.

The Relocation of Abu Simbel Temples

Not only are the two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was a historic event in itself. When the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, due to the construction of the High Dam, the Egyptian Government secured the support of UNESCO and launched a worldwide appeal.

During the operation which began in 1964 by the most skilled archeologists and engineers and continued until 1968, the two temples cut into many pieces and taken to a site 65M higher from their original location. Also, they took great care to make sure that they reassembled in the same original orientation to each other and to the sun. Even a man-made mountain constructed, to make it look like they cut into the rock cliff. At the time, the project cost a total of $40 million – which is a considerable amount in the 1960s.

Abu Simbel Sun Festival

When the Great Temple was constructed, it was built precisely with the position of the sun in mind. The sun festival happens when the sun rays illuminate the central chamber with its hunting architecture. And the light perfectly cast on the four seated statues of Ramses II, Ptah “God of Creation“, Amun “The God of Gods”, and Ra “Sun God“. This solar phenomenon created to celebrate February 22nd, the anniversary of Ramses II’s ascension on the throne; and October 22nd, his birthday. Hundreds of people from all over the world gather at the temple before dawn to witness the spectacle of the rays of light filtering through the stones of the temple and illuminate the statues of Ramses and the gods. It is an extraordinary demonstration of the skill and deep knowledge of the ancient Egyptians in the astronomical field.

 

Abu Simbel temple is one of the most historical attractions around the world where many tourists dream of exploring, so if you want to visit this magnificent monument and the other archaeological sites, then you can visit our breathtaking Aswan tours or Nile cruises and choose your most suitable journey.

Pyramids Of Giza Miracle Of Eternal Egypt

Giza pyramids, One of the most mysterious wonders of the world in the world. Tourists flock to Egypt every year, only to be able to see them. Visiting those pyramids is an experience that many people want to take, It is an unforgettable visit.

In the end, it is the only remaining element of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. Like the saying, “one fears time, and time fears the pyramids.” To this day, scientists and researchers are still confused about the way the pyramids were built.

Royal Tombs

Giza pyramids are located on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile. Because this is where the sunsets every evening, symbolizing the world of the dead. Pyramids built more than 4000 years ago, between 2480 and 2550 BC. It includes three pyramids, Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.

The pyramids are royal tombs. Each bearing the name of the king who built it and was buried in it,  and the hierarchical construction here is a stage in the development of the tomb architecture in ancient Egypt. Constructed the pyramid of Khufu in Giza on an area of ​​13 acres, followed by the pyramid of Khafre and Menkaure.

                                                                     

Khufu’s pyramid

The pyramid of Khufu is the largest pyramid among the pyramids of Giza and the greatest building of the earth. It contains three burial chambers. It took almost 23 years to build.

What distinguishes it from other pyramids is that it is the only one that has concave faces on its four sides. If you look at it from the ground, it is impossible to notice that. But you can see it from the air, if the lighting conditions are correct, and at certain times of the day.

                                       

Khafre’s Pyramid

The Pyramid of Khafra is the middle pyramid t, built by King Khafra, the fourth king of the Fourth Dynasty, the son of King Khufu. Within his hierarchical group, they found statues in the private valley temple. Which is now in the Egyptian Museum.

Menkaure’s pyramid

It is the smallest of the three pyramids in Giza. Built from limestone. Also at the end of it is a vestibule lined with stone, leading to a horizontal corridor, after which the burial chamber is located.

Also, they found a wooden sarcophagus bearing the name of Menkaure with its mummy. South of the Pyramid, three pyramids are dedicated to queens.

       

Sphinx

On the high plateau in front of the three pyramids, the Sphinx stands guard for it. Which is a statue of a lion’s body and a human head and is one of the largest sculptures in the world. Reaching a length of about 240 feet (73 meters) and a height of 66 feet (20 meters).

The pyramids, with their size, can amaze those who see them. As for the Sphinx, it is the statue that makes you feel intimidated by the place. As if he is telling you that you are now in the presence of the kings. And he is the guard of this world. Its greatness is magnificent in its sculptures and its solidity with time.

     

In conclusion, visit the Pyramids of Giza. Enjoy the opportunity to explore more about one of the most famous civilizations in the history of mankind. You can spend a whole day visiting and you can take the most beautiful memorial pictures there.

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the great Sphinx of Giza

what is the story of the Great Sphinx? who was the king building it?

the story of the Great Sphinx is a great one as this is a colossal limestone 4,500 years old statue, it’s location is near the great pyramid of Giza.

It’s considered one of the most fascinating and wonderful landmarks in Egypt.

Its measurement is 73 meters in length and 20 meters in height.

What is the Sphinx?

It features to be with a human male face and a lion’s body with some variations.

The Sphinx, in ancient Egypt, was considered as a spiritual guardian.

Most of the time represented with human head and pharaoh headdress and some of the sphinxes were also included in some tombs and temples.

For example, the sphinx alley that located in Luxor is a two-mile avenue 

It links between Luxor and Karnak temples and it’s surrounded with smaller Sphinx statues.

There are Sphinxes that have similarity to woman pharaoh as Hatshepsut

There is a large alabaster Sphinx that exists at the temple of Ramesside in Memphis, Egypt.

The Sphinx is imported from Egypt to Greece and Asia about 15th to 16 th century B.C.

The Asian Sphinx is figured with eagle wings, most often female look, often raise one paw and sat on its haunches.

The Sphinx in Greece also has wings and a serpent tail as well.

How old is the great Sphinx?

The most widely accepted theory about when the Great Sphinx was built, is that it was constructed for Khafre around 2603 –  2578 B.C.

As some hieroglyphic reliefs say that the king Khufu, the father of Khafre, built the greatest and oldest pyramid of the three pyramids of Giza.

When Khafre became a king, he built his own pyramid next to his father’s pyramid and it’s 10 feats shorter than Khufu pyramid.

But Khufu pyramid is encircled by more statues as the great Sphinx.

There are some suggestions say that the great Sphinx has been painted because of the red dye on its face

According to the organization of the Sphinx and the pyramids, some scientists believe that there was a celestial goal from the temple and the great Sphinx

That was to resurrect the soul of Khafre by directing the power of the sun god and other gods also.

Khafre:

There are several pieces of evidences that link Khafre and his temple complex with the great Sphinx.

The reason for that is, the face and head of the Sphinx is very similar to life-size monuments of king Khafre, that have been found on the valley temple.

In addition to the remnants of the causeway that tie the mortuary temple next to Khafre’s pyramids, to the valley temple.

at the beginning of the 1900s, another ancient building was discovered, just in front of the Great Sphinx, it’s called the Sphinx temple and it has a similar design to the valley temple.

In the 1980s, another evidence was discovered that suggested that the limestones that used in building the walls of the Sphinx came from the ditch around the statue.

 It’s also believed that the workers transferred Quarry blocks for the temple of Sphinx during the great Sphinx construction.

Researchers suggested that it might have taken three years and 100 workers to the carve out the great Sphinx from the limestone.

There are some other shreds of evidence show that the workers quit suddenly before completely finish building the temple and the great Sphinx

As there was a leftover of workman’s lunch, some tool kits, and partially quarried bedrock.  

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