Abu Simbel
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Abu Simbel lies far to the south of the ancient borders of Egypt, in the land of Nubia. Two magnificent rock-cut temples were built here by the 19th Dynasty pharaoh Ramesses II (ca. 1304-1237 BC). The larger of the two, the Great Temple, was dedicated to the gods Amun, Ptah, Re-Horakhty, and the deified Ramesses II, while the Small Temple was dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramesses II’s principal queen, Nefertari.

In the early 1960’s, the global community realized that the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the subsequent creation of Lake Nasser would flood many of the monuments of Lower Nubia, including the temples at Abu Simbel. During a massive international campaign directed by UNESCO, the temples were cut into enormous blocks and re-assembled some 65 m higher (213 ft), and 210 m (689 ft) from the river.


HOURS OF OPERATION:
Open daily. Summer: 5 AM – 6 PM
Winter: 5 AM – 5 PM

TICKET COST:
(Includes admission to the Great Temple and the Small Temple. Tickets for the Sound and Light show [link – popup Misr Sound and Light] must be purchased separately.)
Egyptian: 4 LE
Foreign: 70 LE
A 50% discount on admission is available to students with a valid student ID from an Egyptian University or a valid ISIC card.

LOCATION:
280 km south of Aswan on the shores of Lake Nasser

DIRECTIONS:
BY AIR: EgyptAir flies between Aswan and Abu Simbel. The flight takes about an hour.

BY BOAT: Some cruise lines offer stops at Abu Simbel.

BY BUS OR TAXI: Abu Simbel can be reached by car or bus from Aswan. Arrange with the front desk of your hotel to be picked up between 3:00 and 3:30 AM by bus or taxi. All vehicles leave at 4:00 AM in a convoy. The trip takes about three hours each way. For public transportation, Upper Egypt Bus Co. and El Gouna both run regular buses up to Abu Simbel from the main bus station in Aswan. The return buses leave from the Wadi El Nile Restaurant in Abu Simbel.

FACILITIES:
There is a tourist bazaar and café near the entrance to the site.

NO PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITTED INSIDE THE TEMPLES

The site is wheelchair accessible.

 

Overview of Giza

The Great Temple of Ramesses the Great at night (Kenneth Garrett)

 

The Small Temple of Nefertari (Kenneth Garrett)