At Abu Simbel are two great temples built by Ramses II.
The larger one is his; the smaller was for his favorite wife, Nefertari.
The temples are massive, carved as they are from the living stone.
Colossal figures of Ramses and Nefertari stand under the bright sun
surveying the lake Nasser.
Each of the four statues of the king is accompanied statues of his wives,
sons and daughters who appear in much smaller size beside his legs.
Ramses II is known to have had many wives, who bore him more than a
hundred children, but foremost of all was Nefertari.
Her special place at the king's side is especially visible in Abu Simbel,
where she is not only represented on the facade of the Great Temple itself,
but where she also had her own sanctuary, the so-called
Small Temple of Abu Simbel.
"There is the uncanny impression that the statues are emerging from the rock, that
they are forming and will at any minute stride out towards the sunrise."
More amazing is the modern technology that removed these temples to higher
ground to escape Lake Nasser. Even the mountain into which the temples
have been rebuilt is a modern fabrication. Ramses would have been proud.
last update: 09/10/97 at 21:36