Thursday, July 23, 2020

Temple of Abu Simbel - a pride in Egyptian architecture

Temple of Abu Simbel - a pride in Egyptian architecture

Not only the mysterious pyramids, the Egyptians are also proud of many huge and magnificent ancient temples, such as the Abu Simbel temple. 
The Abu Simbel Temple is located on the west bank of Lake Nasser, about 280 meters south of the first waterfall in the Nile and about 290 km southwest of the center of Aswan, Egypt. It was recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage in the mid-1960s, so it attracts a lot of tourists to visit when traveling to Egypt .

History of the temple of Abu Simbel

The temple of Abu Simbel was built in the 13th century (around 1264 to 1244) BC under the 19th dynasty of Pharaoh Ramesses II, to commemorate the victory of the king as well as show the religious superiority of Ai Update with neighboring countries.

To make this great work, archaeologists believe that it took more than 20 years to complete. Centuries later, however, it was abandoned and buried in desert sand without anyone caring.
It was not until 1813, when a Swiss explorer Burckhardt was led to this location by a local boy named Abu Simbel that the temple was discovered. And in 1817 it was excavated from the sand by Giovanni.
It can be said that, among the countless temples of Egypt, the temple of Simbel is the most subject to the most incidents. Because in 1960, when the Aswan hydroelectric dam was built to enhance the economy of Egypt, its water was in danger of submerging this monument in the Nile .
So, when construction was difficult, the restoration and conservation of it made people even more headache. In the end, UNESCO had to move in to move it by cutting the temple into more than 13,000 small pieces and raising it to 65m above the water level of the Nile and connecting them for more than 8 years today. we have a chance to enjoy the unique ancient ruins on earth like this.

Temple of Abu Simbel - a pride in Egyptian architectureLying by the poetic river (Photo @egyptpeople)

The peak architecture of Abu Simbel temple

The temple complex of Abu Simbel includes two huge temples, the Great Temple for the Guardian Gods and the Pharaoh Rammsses II and the Small Temple dedicated to Queen Nefertari. The temples are sculpted directly on a rough sandstone mountain, according to the standard of building pyramids and tombs in the Valley of Kings to create a masterpiece like today.
The large temple of Pharaoh Rammsses II is about 30 meters high and about 36 meters long, on the main face of the temple are four giant statues of about 22 meters high, carved from the original image of the Pharaoh in sitting posture with stern eyes is looking forward.
Each statue was wearing different types of crowns that symbolized the regions of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt at that time. However, after an earthquake the second statue on the left collapsed, falling to the foot of the temple, so today when visiting, visitors will only see 3 intact statues. .
The main door of the temple leads us to a cave deep in the cliff about 70m, with the structure similar to the ancient temples as the more inward the narrower the road.
On both sides of the corridor are carved 8 huge statues of Osiris - the god who governs hell (pluto) and symbolizes death. On the two walls behind the statues are also decorated with a lot of reliefs vividly depicting the illustrious feats of King Rameses II in the fight against Hitttite or victory in Nubia, Lybia ...
Besides, there are pictures depicting the king's daily life in the harem, some of them talk about the process of communication between the king and the Egyptian gods. Although time has passed for thousands of years, those intricate carvings seem to be intact as a way to prove the ingenuity of the ancients.
Walking through the corridor, visitors will see a main shrine with four statues of four gods: Ptah (god of creation, god of creation), Amun-Re (god of the sun), god Re-Harakti (patron deity of the king) and Ramsses II (because he considered himself a god) were placed on altars.
The arrangement of the statues in the temple of  Abu Simbel  is also a very ingenious calculation of the ancient Egyptians. Because on the 20th of February and October every year, the sunrise shines directly on the statue of Amun-Re and then slowly shines on nearby idols Rammsses II and Re-Harakrti but never on. God Ptah because people think: Ptah is an eternal god in the dark.
Queen Nefertari's Small Temple is only about 12 meters high and about 30 meters long, about 100 meters northeast of the Big Temple. The face of the temple is engraved with 6 giant statues with four statues of Pharaoh Ramesses II and two of them are his queen - Mrs. Nefertari. The temple's interior is also decorated with bas-reliefs depicting images of Pharaoh and his Queen making offerings to Egyptian gods. 
It can be said that the statues carved in the cave of Abu Simbel temple are a masterpiece of humanity. This is a second-ranked wonder, second only to the Great Pyramids, a feat that cannot be answered by why more than 3,300 years ago the ancient Egyptians had a foundation. civilization and astronomy are as great as that.

How to move to the temple of Abu Simbel

To admire the great monument of Abu Simbel Egypt , you can fly to the romantic city of Aswan, then from there by plane to here in about 35 minutes or take a bus for more than 3.5 hours.
If you've set foot in Egypt, don't forget to drop by the  temple of Abu Simbel to see an architectural masterpiece that the Egyptians are extremely proud of.

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