I was inspired by the story of Abu Simbel in the 1960s as I read and saw the photographs in my encyclopaedia ‘Books of Knowledge’ but never believed that I would visit this UNESCO World Heritage site one day!
The complex consists of two temples. The larger one is dedicated to Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun, Egypt's three state deities of the time, and features four large statues of Ramesses II in the facade. The smaller temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor, personified by Nefertari, Ramses’ most beloved of his many wives
It was incredibly emotional to walk around the corner and come face to face with a childhood dream, with the huge statues of Ramses II sitting proudly in front of the temple, as if to say ‘I am Ramses, master of all I survey’.
To the right of Ramses temple is the Temple of Hathor, dedicated to his favourite wife Nefertari (not to be confused with Nefertiti) portrayed as Hathor. You come upon six statues of Ramses and Nefertari with some of their children. The love of Nefertari by Ramses is clear to see from the fact that he constructed the temple for her but even more so in that she stands as the same height as Ramses, not knee high as consorts are usually portrayed.
Inside the temple the columns are crowned with the cow shape of Hathor and on the walls Nefertari appears in front of the Gods as Ramses equal, honouring him. The most stunning image is of Hathor/Nefertari and the sacred barge. The tomb inside is brilliantly decorated and intricately painted The colours are incredible and to have remained so bright for thousands of years (at a time when we paint fences regularly) bears testament to the incredible talents and skills of the ancient Egyptian craftsmen.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.