is the great temple of Abu Simbel, dedicated to the glory of pharao
Ramses II. Though the temple is officially dedicated to the triad
Amon-Ra, Ptah and Ra-Harakhte, its front is dominated by four
gigantic statues of the great pharaoh himself. He had this temple
built in this otherwise desolate area on the actual site of a
much older shrine of a local personification of the god Horus.
The colossi of the king, wearing the characteristic nemes headcloth
and double crown (of upper and lower Egypt), are each 20 metres
high, while the facade is more than 35 metres wide and 30 metres
high. The king is accompanied by some of his wives, sons and daughters
who appear in much smaller size beside his legs. Right above the
entrance stands a figure of the god Re-Harakhte in a small niche.
The top of the facade is crowned by a row of baboons.
central entrance leads into a large hall with massive pillars
fronted by Osiris figures of the king. The temple's orientation
is arranged in such a way that twice every year on 22 February
and 22 October the earliest sun-rays shine on the back wall of
the innermost chamber, thus illuminating the statues of the four
gods seated there.
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