Abu Simbel Temples were built by Rameses II at the remote village of Abu Simbel, which lies 240Km south of Aswan, they were cut out of the sandstone rock mountains at Abu Simbel and designed to overlook the Nile. The two Temples of Abu Simbel, the great one and the small one have been later moved to another high location by UNESCO in 1964, an operation that ended in 1968. This was due to the increase in the level of the Nile river which led to the flooding of the temples.
The Great Temples of Abu Simbel is also known as the southern temple and the temple of Ra-Horakhty because it lies to the south of the small temple and it was dedicated to god Ra-Horakhety. As for the small temple it was also known as the southern Temple and the temple of Hathor, the lady of Ebshek, the region of Ebshek lies south of Abu Simbel in Sudan.
The Façade of the great temple is about is 38m In width and33m In Height, it is decorated by four 20 m colossal statues of the kings two on either side of the entrance .little statues of his family are cut between his legs, the top of the façade is decorated by a cavetto cornice bearing cartouches of the king, above the the cornice there is a row of baboons statues adoring the sun, under the cornice there is the line of inscriptions giving the names and titles of the king, the entrance to the temple is cut in the middle of the façade between the 4 statues above the entrance there is a recess decorated by a representation of god Ra-Horakhty .
The first hypostyle hall, the entrance leads to the hypostyle hall which is 20m long by 18 m wide, inside the Hall, there is eight Osirid sculpture lined up four by four against 8 squared pillars in the hypostyle hall .the scenes of this hall mainly represent scenes of the battle of Kadesh and traditional offering scenes of the king making an offering in front of different gods to gain their blessing.
The second hypostyle hall, deeper into the rock is another pillared hall that measures 11*12m, It contains 4 pillars two on either side, the scenes here mainly represent the king and his wife Nefertari, At the western end of this second hypostyle hall, there are 3 doors leading to the vestibule which in turn leads to the sanctuary of the temple in the center and to two small undecorated side rooms on the sides, probably for storage.
Inside the sanctuary cut in the rock are 4 statues representing Ptah, Amon, Rameses II defied and Ra-Horakhety, in the middle of the room there are the remains of the pedestal which was probably for placing the sacred bark.
The sun used to shine on both the façade and the interior of the great temple twice a year, those days were king ramses|| birthdays ) 22 Oct and his coronation day 21 Feb.
The small temple of Abu Simbel, this temple of Hathor and Nefertari, is known as the small temple and was built by Rameses II about one hundred Meter North East of the great Temple it was dedicated to the goddess Hathor, the lady of Ebshek, and Rameses II’s chief consort Nefertari, this was, in fact, the second time in ancient Egyptian history that a temple was dedicated to Queen.
The façade of the Temple, the rock out façade is 30m in width and 13 m high, it is hewn from the rock in imitation of a pylon with cavetto cornice which is now missing , the façade is decorated with two groups of three colossi that are separated by large gateway the statues are slightly more than ten meters high and they represent the king and his queen, the doorway leads into a squared hypostyle hall divided into three aisles by six pillars, these six pillars are decorated from their fronts by the head of the cow eared goddess Hathor, on the other sides of the pillars are scenes of the royal couple and various deities.
From the hypostyle hall, three doorways lead into a narrow transverse chamber, with a scene showing the queen making offerings in front of Hathor, beyond the transverse chamber is the sanctuary in the rear wall of which is a recess in the form of a chapel its roof supported by sistrums, in this recess Is a figure in high relief of the goddess Hathor as a cow and under her head and thus under her protection is the queen.