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Abu Simbel

About 280kms south of Aswan lies Abu Simbel with its two temples built by Ramses II, who built numerous temples and edifices along the Nile Valley. The Temples of Abu Simbel, however, are the most famous and beautiful, and though erected over three thousand years ago, have not been affected by weathering or erosion.

Not only are the two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world, but their removal and reconstruction were historic events in themselves. When the temples

were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, due to the construction of the High Dam, the Egyptian Government secured the support of UNESCO and launched a worldwide appeal. During the salvage operation, which began in 1964 and continued until 1968, the two temples were dismantled and raised 60metres up the sandstone cliff.

Here they were reassembled, in the same relationship to each other, and covered with an artificial mountain. Antiquity experts have now filled most of the joins in the stone, but inside the temples it is still possible to see where the blocks were cut. You can also go inside the man-made dome and see an exhibition of photographs showing the different stages of the massive removal project.


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