Abu Simbel, Egypt
These are top Egyptian monuments that have attracted tourists since inception in the 13th Century B.C. As with most other Egyptian structures, these were created to impress and intimidate the Nubian neighbors to the south.
Other than being daunting structures, these monuments helped to establish the Egyptian pagan religion in the area. Over time, however, the temples were neglected until they were rediscovered thanks to a young lad that had seen glimpses of the temple as the sands shifted. His name was Abu Simbel.
As if the history of the structures was not fascinating enough, the monuments had to be moved due to the creation of the Aswan dam whose reservoir waters threatened to overrun the temples of Nefertari and Ramesses II.
Within the temple complex at Abu Simbel, the one thing that stands out is the statue of Ramesses II wearing the double crown. This was symbolic of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under one ruler. But even more riveting than the temple dedicated to Ptah, Amun and Ra-Horakhty is the Small Temple. This particular construction has statues of the queen and king in equal dimensions.
This may seem like a no brainer to the modern day tourist, but in the largely patriarchal system of the ancient Egyptians, this is a one of a kind statement from the pharaoh to his queen.
Abu Simbel has magnificent structures every way you look and between Nefertari and Ramesses II there is never a dull moment.
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