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Ramses' Great Temple

Abu Simbel Temples - Temples - Buildings - Builders & Buildings

The Great Temple of Pharaoh Ramses II

Layout of the Temple

The Facade

The 55-meter-long facade is finished at its top with a frieze of 22 sun worshipping Baboons

The Temple’s outer face has four colossal 20-meter Statues of Pharaoh Ramses II wearing the Double Crown of Lower and Upper Egypt. For more information about the Crowns of Egypt, click here.


The large statues are all of the Pharaoh with one which has been damaged by an earthquake

 

The statues in between the legs of Ramses II are:
1.) Chief Royal Wife, Nefertari
2.) Ramses’ mother, Mut-Tuya “Tuya”
3.)Amunherkhepeshef: Crown Prince and Commander of the Troops
4.) Ramses: Crown Prince after the death of his half-brother
5.) Princess Bintanath, Princess Baketmut, Princess Nefertari, Princess Meritamen, Princess Nebettawy & Princess Isetnofret

The First Hall

The Hypostyle Hall is 18m long and 16.7m wide

The middle walkway is graced with 8 Pillars depicting Osiris, the God of the Dead, Ruler the Underworld and the God of Resurrection

The 4 on the left-hand side shown with the White Crown of Upper Egypt and the 4 in the right-hand side shown with the Red Crown of Lower Egypt

Bas Reliefs

The Bas reliefs on the surrounding walls portray Pharaoh Ramses II defeating his enemies in Libya, Nubia and famously at Kadesh

Between the latter 2 of the Osiris statues is the record of the Peace Treaty which Ramses signed with his neighbours the Hittites after the battle of Kadesh

The Second Hall

Pillared with 4 columns represented with scenes of offerings to the Gods and Goddesses. These scenes include depictions of Nefertari and Ramses with the Sacred Boats of Amun and Rahorakhty.

The Inner Sanctum

The Inner Sanctum is the home of the Gods within the Temple. The Gods are all hewn out of the rock face

They are all seated figures:

  • Rahorakhty; main divinity for Heliopolis
  • Deified Ramses II
  • Amun Ra, main divinity for Thebes   and
  • God Ptah, main divinity for Memphis

 

On the right hand side of the sanctuary is the etched name of the Egyptologist who cleared the Temple in 1817, Giovanni Belzoni

Ramses’ Architects aligned the inner sanctum with the front of the Temple so the sun shines directly on to Rahorakhty, the Pharaoh and Amun Ra.

Allegedly to honour Ramses on the date of his birthday, 22nd October, and his coronation day, 22nd February.

The God Ptah remained in the shadow as he is connected to the Underworld and must remain there.