Abu Simbel: The Architectural wonder of ancient Egypt
Egypt is full of architectural wonders such as the pyramids of Giza. Today, however, we will introduce you to another architectural wonder which is as popular – the Abu Simbel temple.
The temple, which was carved out of the mountainsides, is situated in Aswan Governorate in northern Egypt. The construction began during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II to glorify their gods, according to the beliefs of ancient Egypt, and Pharaoh Ramesses II himself and his favourite wife, Nefertari. Abu Simbel consists of the Grand Temple and the Small Temple. Sculptures of various sizes can be found in both temples. Thanks to its historical importance and architecture, the Abu Simbel temple was granted the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1979.
Another remarkable architectural aspect of the temple is the solar alignment, which happens twice a year on 22 February and 22 October, which are allegedly the Pharaoh’s birthday and coronation day, respectively. On these two days, the sunlight will shine through the temple’s door into the hall. Therefore, the Abu Simbel Sun Festival is held on these two days where tourists and Egyptian alike will gather at the Grand temple to witness this event and celebrate it with the locals after the sun has left the hall.