Abu Simbel: Pharaoh Ramses II and his wife Nefertaris Temples

Abu Simbel, is one of the most impressive Temple of Ancient Egypt, as well, one of the most spectacular places to visit today, was built by Ramses II "The Great Builder" whose name was, Born from the Sun, "Beloved of god Amon-Ra".

Abu Symbel Rameses II Temple EgyptAbu Simbel entrance-facade shapes like a trapezoidal pylon, however, has not a single brick, it is carved in the rock, was built by cutting deep into a rocky mountain, the inner Temple disposition, goes much deeper, it is as a manmade cave, for the reason that, in ancient times, the caverns were acknowledged by many Ancient Civilizations as the womb of the "Mother Earth", associating it with Birth and Rebirth factors. I.e. In the Mediterranean area, the Greek god Zeus, was supposed to have born inside of a cave. At the entrance of Abu Simbel Temple, there are also four statues of Pharaoh Ramses II, sitting in a throne, all four magnificent statues, of about 67 feet, 22 meters high, they are Stone-carved from one Stone block each.

In the entrance-interior walls, since these walls are decorated with battle scenes, commemorating his victories of the famous Kadesh or Qadesh Battle against the Hittites, he is represented, as a warrior, raving against his enemies; as well, there are depicted other battles with Nubians and others enemies; the prisoners of this battles are shown, at each side of the main entrance, where are the sitting statues, and they in the following order: at the left wall surface of the Temple, are the ones from Africa and in the right side the prisoners from Near Asia.

At the entrance of the Temple’s interior, are eight more Ramses II statues, they are standing as columns sustaining the roof, 30 feet, over 9 meters high, wearing attires that relate Ramses II with God Osiris. At the end of this passage, the Pharaoh is inside sitting together with three other deities: Amon Ra of Thebes, Heru Khuti of Heliopolis and Ptah of Memphis the tree most prominent deities of Ancient Egypt at that time. Twice a summer in February and October the sun light in the early morning enters by the door, aligns with one of his statues and makes a lightning spectacle.

Ramses II statues at the Grand Hall

Abu Simbel is a Temple compound made by two temples; one was meant for Ramses II in his relation with the Solar gods Amon-Ra and Heru or Horus of the two horizons (Khuti in Ancient Egyptian or Harmachis in Greek languages), whose statue, is the central-image of the entrance (Pylon) wall of the Temple, However, in the interior is also honored God Osiris.
And there is another smaller Temple at the left side of the main temple, which is also carved in the rock, this Temple was intended to honor his Royal wife Nefertari, in her relationship or representation of Goddess Hathor, Nefertari was his first and most beloved wife, a sister of Ramses II and the love of his life; this queen, also well-known, for her outstanding tomb built in the "Valley of the Queens", in modern Luxor, ancient "Middle Empire" capital city, Thebes.

This temple complex, was located in the west bank of the Nile River, in the Aswan area Upper Egypt, which was the Southern Egyptian boundary with Nubian territory, now present Sudan; took about twenty years to complete this Temple and its construction started around the middle of the thirteen century BC. It is part of a series of seven carved temples in the mountain-rock, made to impress the Nubians, who were their neighbor, with whom traded Ivory and Gold, but as well, fought countless battles against them, since ancient times.

In both Temple places, there are a number of chapels, niches and false doors, it was believed that this imaginary opening in the walls permitted to linkage persons of this Living World with the Spirits of the diseased in the Afterlife World, as well join in the performed rituals so the Spirits will take advantage of the present that were brought as offerings or gifts with the desire to nurture the Spirit or "Ka" (Ancient Egyptian word for Spirit) as they thought that immortality was just a progression of this life, with the same needs and pleasures that we enjoy on earth.

At this temple Nefertari was associated to the Egyptian goddess Hathor, the sky goddess linked with the moon and Eastern and Western Venus appearances, as well; she is usually represented by a Horned-cow, cow headed woman, just wearing the cow horns and a circle on the top of her head, this goddess was profoundly associated with the worshiping tradition in relevance to the pharaoh’s throne.

Goddess Hathor, was depicted with goat ears and a Shrine on top of her head that ornaments, the temple’s columns capital; at right, can be seen, that she is also depicted as a heavenly cow or with cow horns surmounted by the solar circle over her head as seen in this picture at left.

Nefeteri, Ramses II wifes' temple at Abu Simbel

Hathor was also thought to be the wife of god Heru (Khuti in Ancient Egyptian or Harmachis in Greek) or Horus of the two horizons which is the way that his name appears in this temple. Heru is one of the deities to whom the exterior part of the temple was dedicated. However, in Nefertari temple, also is the presence of the Egyptian god Set, the symbol of Chaos and Evil and the contradictory characteristics to god Heru distinctiveness. Nevertheless Set also had his qualifications, was the god of war and helped Osiris together with Horus, to reach heaven; therefore Set also was taken as welcoming deity to the diseased, for the same reason, that Set appears together with Heru giving to the Pharaoh the Eternal Waters or the nature of eternal life.

Abu Simbel Temple Egypt