The Temples of Abu Simbel
Situated near Egypt’s southern borders with Sudan, 280 km south of Aswan, the Temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most interesting of all Pharaonic temples. There are two temples cut into the rock dating back to king Ramses II - one is for Ramses and the other for Nefertari.
The Great Temple
Ramses II built this for himself to be adored beside the gods Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Ptah. It is 33m high and 38m wide and 56m deep. King Ramses II built this temple for himself not only as a king but also as a god as the facade of the temple shows how king Ramses was worshiping himself as a god. It also showed him as a warrior and after that as a peace maker when he signed the first peace treaty in history and married the daughter of the Hittites.
Temple of Nefertari
The Temple of Queen Nefertari is located 120m from the Temple of Ramses II and was also built by Ramses II, dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and to his wife Queen Nefertari. Queen Nefertari was the principal, and the most beloved, wife of King Ramses II. It is also a rock-cut Temple with a façade of about 28m long and 12m high, which contains 6 standing colossi, each one being about 11m in height. Four of them represent Ramses II and the other two represent Queen Nefertari, each accompanied by two smaller figures of their children.
The entrance leads to a square hall, which is supported by 6 Hathor-headed pillars decorated with scenes depicting the King and the Queen making offerings to different deities. At the end of the hall there is a doorway leading to a transverse vestibule decorated with scenes of King Ramses II making offerings to Re-Horakhty, while the Queen is presenting flowers to Khenum, Sat-tet and Anket.The Transverse Hall leads to the Sanctuary, which contains a niche in the rear wall with a statue of Goddess Hathor, as a cow, protecting Ramses II.
The view from this place is incredible. Imagine yourself in the middle of the desert, and at the shores of Lake Nasser. The temples got world fame when an international UNESCO operation was needed to save them from the rising water of Lake Nasser. The bright colors in the carvings are essentially intact.
The Temple Of Edfu
This city played a major role in the history of Aswan, and is located 60 km south of it. Edfu was a flourishing city in ancient times and the center of the cult of triad of Gods, including the infamous Horus and Hathor. The temple of Edfu dates back to the Ptolemaic period, and the temple and its inscriptions were completed over a period of 180 years. This glorious temple includes a Nilometer and a chapel dedicated to the Goddess Nut. Various walls depict scenes of wars, the ritual foundation of the temple, and the divine marriage of Hathor and Horus of Behdet.
The Temple of Philae
This magnificent temple is located on a small rocky island in the middle of the Nile, south of Aswan, and was built by the Ancient Egyptians for the Goddess Isis. It was submerged by Nile floods when the first dam was built in Aswan in 1906. In the 1970s, with the completion of the High Dam of Aswan, attempts began to save the temple. A new island, Egilika, was chosen and reshaped to resemble the island on which the temple resides. Over a period of nine years, the temple was dismantled, transferred, and assembled again on Egilika.