The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel in Nubia, southern Egypt. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 143 mi southwest of Aswan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments” which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae.
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors.
However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
Photo Credit: Mikael