Temple Heat

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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel
August 21st 2018
Published: July 9th 2019
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Today, Renata and I are heading early in the morning to explore the temple of Abu Simbel. Then we are going to check out the Philae Temple and end our evening boarding a felucca to cruise along the Nile.

Abu Simbel

We arose early in the morning at around 3:00 a.m. to head towards Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is an elaborate temple constructed by the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. The temple is mainly cut into a solid rock cliff, and depicts the victory of Ramses II during the Hittites at Kadish battle in 1274 B.C. The Grand temple entrance has four seated colossi of King Ramses II on his throne at different ages.

In the inner sanctum there are four statues: Ra, Amun, Ptah and Ramesses himself. The temple was built in such a way that twice a year 21st February and 22nd of October the suns rays would find its way directly into the inner sanctum and illuminate three of the statues. The statue of Ptah, was kept in darkness due to his association with the underworld.

The smaller temple is dedicated to Queen Nefertari, Ramses II most favourite wife. The entrance is guarded by two statues of the queen and four of the pharaoh.

In 1964, the Egyptian government and UNESCO decided to move the temples from their original location to prevent flooding from the Nile due to creation of the High Dam. They dismantled and moved both temples and placed then high onto the plateaus of the cliff they once sat below. Great care was taken to orient both temples in the exact direction as before and a man made mountain was created to give the impression of the temple being cut out from rock.

When we visited Abu Simbel, the weather was the hottest we experienced in Egypt (well over 30 degrees Celsius). The heat made it difficult to explore the temple and there was very limited shade at the temple. We found ourselves leaving the temple earlier than expected to enjoy the air conditioning of our coach.

Philae Temple

Our next stop was the Philae Temple. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Isis, the wife or Osiris and mother of Horus. In the Egyptian story the god Osiris is murdered and dismembered by his brother, Seth. Isis searches for the fragments, collects then and with her magic powers brings Osiris back to life. They then conceive the god Horus. Osiris becomes god of the underworld and judge of the dead. When Horus grows up he avenges his father by defeating Seth in combat.


We ended the evening by having a delicious dinner on our felucca boat as we set of to cruise along the Nile.

Tomorrow, is a nice and relaxing day as we continue to cruise along the Nile.

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