Ancient Egyptian Temples

29 Jan 2024, 09:01

Abydos Temple

Abydoss has emerged as a significant archaeological treasure in Egypt. It is home to the royal burial ground from the pre-dynastic era, which has unveiled intriguing connections with Sumeria. Additionally, it houses the Osireion, a mysterious subterranean chamber linked to the Nile, constructed from massive blocks. The architectural style of these blocks is only paralleled by the Valley temple at Giza. Later, the temple of Seti I from the Sixth Dynasty, which undoubtedly originates from an earlier period, was constructed atop this site. Where is the Abydos Temple located, and how to get there? The Abydos Temple is situated in the town of Abydos, which was once a prominent sacred city and a necropolis for the earliest Egyptian royalty. Abydos was also a pilgrimage hub for worshipping Osiris, the god of the afterlife, who was thought to be buried there. To reach Abydos from Luxor, you can take a private car or a taxi, which will take approximately two and a half hours. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour that includes transportation and entrance fees with Sun Pyramids Tours. Contact Us for more information. You can also combine your visit to Abydos with another nearby temple, such as Dendera or Karnak. The Temple of Seti I (1,307-1,291 BC) (The house of millions of years) It is considered to have been built towards the end of Seti's reign. Seti I, the second king of the 19th Dynasty, was the son of Ramesses I and Queen Sitre. He reconciled with the Hittites, who were becoming the most powerful state in the region. Seti I and his heir, Ramesses II, campaigned against Kadesh. In Karnak, he completed his father's plan by converting the court between the second and third towers into a vast hypostyle hall. He built his vast mortuary complex at Abydos.  The renowned structure that stands today is often referred to as the Grand Temple of Abydos. The elevated reliefs in this splendid Temple are among the finest in all of Egypt. This Temple boasts a unique design, resembling an inverted "L." It also houses the most comprehensive lists of Kings and Gods. The Temple houses seven sanctuaries dedicated to 7 Gods: Osiris, Isis, Horus, Amon Ra, Ra HorAkhty, Ptah, and Seti I as a deified King. In this Temple, one can find the best-preserved painted reliefs and texts from the 18th Dynasty. Seven chapels were constructed for the worship of the pharaoh and primary deities. At the rear of the Temple is a mysterious structure known as The Osirion, believed to be associated with the worship of Osiris, and likely from those chambers extended the grand Hypogeum for the celebration of the Osiris mysteries, constructed by Merenptah. The Temple of Seti I is also gaining a reputation for its unique carvings discovered on one of its ceiling beams. These engravings have garnered considerable interest in the past due to their striking resemblance to contemporary vehicles. However, it’s been proposed that they might be the result of superimposed hieroglyphs, which, despite their rarity, seem plausible when examining the rest of the beam. The construction of Seti I’s Temple occurred significantly later than the Osireion : It’s believed that Seti I was guided to construct at this site and that he adjusted the temple’s direction upon discovering the Osireion. However, the alignment of the two temples suggests that he likely knew about the Osireion’s existence when he initiated the construction of his temple. The Osireion (Strabo's Well, The Fountain of Abydoss) When Seti-I initiated the quest for a site for his Temple, he was guided to a spot north of Luxor in the Nile River’s curve. Here, he started excavating the foundation for his Temple. During this process, he stumbled upon the Osireion, the ancient temple of Osiris. Whether he was aware of the Osireion’s existence remains a mystery, but upon encountering this ancient temple in his new temple’s path, he redirected his new temple to the left. This temple is the only one in Egypt that takes an ‘L’ turn. The structure has notable architectural disparities from the temple above and is presumed to be considerably older. It bears several resemblances to the 'Valley Temple' at Giza, which is also acknowledged as an early-dynasty edifice. Pertaining to this matter, it may be noteworthy that the temple Osireion is consecrated to Osiris, while the 'Valley temple' at Giza is linked to Isis. As of now, we lack any clues regarding the construction date. However, the design, the magnitude of the materials, and the total lack of ornamentation all suggest a very ancient origin. Until now, the so-called Sphinx temple at Gizeh has always been regarded as one of Egypt’s oldest structures. It is contemporaneous with the pyramid of Chefren… Given its similar composition but much larger materials, the Abydos reservoir exhibits an even more archaic character, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this turned out to be Egypt’s oldest structure. Who was Dorothy Eady (Omm Sety), and what was her connection to the Abydos Temple? One of the most fascinating stories about the Abydos Temple is that of Dorothy Eady (1904 – 1981), also recognized as Omm Sety or Om Seti, who was a British custodian of antiques and a folklorist. She served as the guardian of the Abydos Temple of Seti I and worked as a draughtswoman for the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. She gained fame for her conviction that she had been a priestess in ancient Egypt in a past life and for her extensive historical research conducted at Abydos. Her life and contributions have been the focus of numerous articles, TV documentaries, and biographical works. According to John A. Wilson, the late head of the Oriental Institute and regarded as the “dean of American Egyptology” by his peers, believed that Omm Sety merited recognition as “a responsible scholar.” She served as a resource for contemporary scholarship aiming to comprehend how traditional ancient religious customs have endured into the present day, manifesting as “folk customs” observed by modern Egyptian Copts and Muslims. Unlike others who professed to be reincarnated entities from ancient Egypt, she was accorded respect by Egyptologists. While none publicly endorsed the phenomena she described, none questioned her honesty, and many have utilized her insights on past and present Egypt as credible source material. Ramesses II Temple The neighboring temple of Ramesses II, although smaller and simpler in design, boasted a remarkable historical series of scenes on its exterior that celebrated his accomplishments, with the lower parts still intact. The temple’s exterior was adorned with depictions of the Battle of Kadesh. A list of pharaohs, akin to that of Seti I, once stood here; however, the fragments were acquired by the French consul and sold to the British Museum. The top two rows of the list feature the names of the kings, while the third row repeats Ramesses II’s throne name. What are the opening hours of The Abydos Temple The opening hours of The Abydos Temple are: Daily from 7 AM to 6 PM Why do I book with Sun Pyramids Tours 1) Expertise and Experience: Sun Pyramids Tours has a wealth of 53 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. 2) Customized Itineraries: Sun Pyramids Tours offers tailored itineraries to suit your preferences. Whether you're interested in historical sites, cultural immersion, or adventure activities, we can design a tour that matches your interests. 3) Local Connections and Insider Access: Sun Pyramids Tours can provide you with unique opportunities and insider access to attractions and experiences that may not be easily accessible to independent travelers. 4) Hassle-Free Planning: Sun Pyramids Tours can take the stress out of planning your trip. We handle all the logistics, including accommodations, transportation, and guided tours, at competitive prices… Relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about the details. 5) Customer Satisfaction: Sun Pyramids Tours prides itself on providing excellent customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction. They strive to meet and exceed your expectations, making your trip enjoyable and memorable. Add trip advisor reviews, Facebook page reviews, etc. 6) Safety and Security: Sun Pyramids Tours prioritizes the safety and security of their guests. We work with trusted partners, adhere to safety guidelines, and provide support throughout your journey to ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience.

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29 Jan 2024, 09:00

Abu Simbel Temple

Cut into the mountainside of southern Egypt, the colossal Abu Simbel Temples are one of Egypt's most spectacular treasures. The Architecture of Abu Simbel Temples features four seated colossi of Ramesses II, the largest being 20 meters high, safeguarding the entrance. Renowned for their gigantic statues of the pharaoh, their original location was accurately recreated in the 1960s after being relocated higher due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam. History of Abu Simbel Temple As the sands of time drifted, the once majestic temples faded into obscurity. The Great Temple, engulfed by a vast sand dune, receded from memory. By the 6th century BC, the sand concealed the temple's statues up to their knees, burying their grandeur and history of Abu Simbel Temple. Europeans remained oblivious to its existence until March 1813, when a Swiss researcher named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt stumbled upon the small temple and glimpsed the top frieze of the main temple. Where is the Abu Simbel Temple Located? The Abu Simbel temple stands in the village of Abu Simbel in the Aswan Governorate of Upper Egypt, close to the Sudanese border. Abu Simbel Temple Location rests on the western bank of Lake Nasser, roughly 230 km (140 mi) southwest of Aswan (about 300 km (190 mi) by road). which pharaoh was ordered to build the Abu Simbel Temples in Aswan? Commissioned by Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, they were dedicated to the ancient Egyptian gods Ptah, Amun, and himself as a form of sun deity. Abu Simbel Sun Festival The sun illuminates Abu Simbel's Temple with an outstanding solar alignment during the equinoxes, so that on February 22 and October 22 each year (Abu Simbel Sun Festival), the rising sun's rays penetrated the inner sanctuaries and illuminated three statues on the back wall, an impressive sight. As both architectural wonders and monuments to power, the Abu Simbel Temples represent the heights of New Kingdom artistic achievement and royal vanity, continuing to inspire millions of visitors today. The Architecture of Abu Simbel Temples The temple's design is an amazing showcase of the grandeur of ancient Egyptian civilization. This impressive structure stands 30 meters tall and stretches 35 meters in length. As you enter, you'll be greeted by four colossal statues portraying Ramses the Great seated on a throne, towering at 20 meters (65 feet). Below these imposing figures, smaller statues illustrate Ramses defeating enemies, honoring and protecting gods and family. Upon entering, you'll find an image of Ramesses II seated on a throne, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Inside, three consecutive halls span a remarkable 56 meters (185 feet). The hypostyle hall, boasting a width of 16.7 meters and a height of 18 meters, is supported by eight massive Osiris pillars, symbolizing Ramses as the ruler of the underworld Osiris and emphasizing the pharaoh's eternal nature. In the central chamber, you'll discover statues representing various gods, adorned with depictions of the pharaoh, scenes from his victory at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC (marking the first recorded peace treaty in history), and more. On the façade, a row of 22 baboons with raised arms worships the rising sun. The inner sanctuary houses the four seated gods of Ramses II—Ptah (God of creation), Amun (The Creator God), and Ra (Sun God)—playing a central role in the sun festival. Not far from the great temple, the Nefertari temple, a charming architectural masterpiece, sits 100 meters northeast. Decorated with two groups of colossi separated by a large gateway, it features two statues of the queen and six statues of her husband, King Ramses II, standing at 10.5 meters (35 feet). These statues pay homage to "Hathor," the goddess of love, allure, and joy, the sky falcon Horus, and Maat, the goddess of Justice, among others. The Love-Infused Wonders of Abu Simbel's Small Temple: The enchanting Small Temple of Abu Simbel, a monument to love and devotion, is nestled just 100 meters northeast of the grand temple of Ramesses II. This sacred site honors the divine goddess Hathor and the esteemed queen Nefertari, Ramesses II's beloved consort. Remarkably, it stands as only the second instance in the storied annals of ancient Egypt where a temple is consecrated to a queen, echoing the earlier tribute by Akhenaten to his cherished royal wife, Nefertiti. As you approach, be captivated by the temple's rock-hewn facade, graced by two majestic groups of colossal statues, divided by a grand entranceway. Towering over 10 meters tall, these impressive effigies depict the regal couple—Ramesses II and Nefertari. Flanking the gateway, witness the dual representations of the pharaoh: to the south, adorned with the pure white crown of Upper Egypt, and to the north, with the illustrious double crown, both complemented by the elegant figures of the queen. Burckhardt shared his astounding find with Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni, who ventured to the site but struggled to unearth an entryway into the temple. Undeterred from revealing the history of Abu Simbel Temple, Belzoni returned in 1817 and triumphantly achieved access to the enigmatic complex. A vivid account of the temples, accompanied by contemporary line drawings, can be found in Edward William Lane's Description of Egypt (1825–1828). The tale of Abu Simbel is one of loss and rediscovery, where time's relentless march shrouded ancient marvels in oblivion. Yet, through the tenacity of explorers and the pages of historical accounts, the splendor of these temples was resurrected, allowing us to peer into the secrets of a bygone era. The Relocation of Abu Simbel Temples Why Was Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan Relocated in The 1960s? The Relocation of Abu Simbel Temples In 1959, was an urgent mission that unfolded as the rising waters of the Nile threatened the ancient relics of Nubia. The Aswan High Dam's construction posed a grave danger to this southernmost remnant of a glorious civilization. A global campaign supported by UNESCO mobilized to rescue the history of Abu Simbel Temple. In 1964, a daring team of archaeologists, engineers, and skilled operators embarked on an unprecedented endeavor. With a budget of $40 million (equivalent to $377.42 million today), they set out to salvage the magnificent Abu Simbel temples. Over four arduous years, an extraordinary feat unfolded. Piece by colossal piece, some weighing up to 30 tons (averaging 20 tons), the temples were meticulously cut, dismantled, and raised to safety. This audacious undertaking pushed the boundaries of archaeology, showcasing the ingenuity of the human spirit. Where Did They Move Abu Simbel Temple From? The Relocation of Abu Simbel Temples and The new site, carefully chosen 65 meters higher and 200 meters back from the river, became a sanctuary for these ancient wonders. Defying the relentless flow of the Nile, the Abu Simbel temples proudly stood in their new home. The rescue of Abu Simbel exemplifies the unwavering commitment to preserving our shared human heritage. It is a testament to the dedication of those who refused to let the history of Abu Simbel Temple be lost to time. This remarkable achievement ensures that future generations can continue to marvel at the splendor of a bygone era. How do you get to Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan? If you're interested in visiting the Abu Simbel Temple Location, you have two options: take a day trip from Aswan or see during a flight between Cairo and Aswan. There are three ways to reach Abu Simbel: roundtrip flight from Aswan, land from Aswan, or between Cairo and Aswan. Please let me know if you require additional help; I hope this information has been helpful. What are the best days to visit Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan? The best months to visit Abu Simbel are January, February, and December when the weather is mildly warm and pleasantly cool. February 22 is the Abu Simbel Sun Festival, attracting thousands of tourists, so be prepared for large crowds. Make reservations several months in advance since these months are the busiest season for tourism, with higher prices for hotels and airfare. Why do I book with Sun Pyramids Tours? Expertise and Experience: Sun Pyramids Tours has a wealth of 53 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Customized Itineraries: Sun Pyramids Tours offers tailored itineraries to suit your preferences. Whether you're interested in historical sites, cultural immersion, or adventure activities, we can design a tour that matches your interests. Local Connections and Insider Access: Sun Pyramids Tours can provide you with unique opportunities and insider access to attractions and experiences that may not be easily accessible to independent travelers. Hassle-Free Planning: Sun Pyramids Tours can take the stress out of planning your trip. We handle all the logistics, including accommodations, transportation, and guided tours, at competitive prices… Relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about the details. Customer Satisfaction: Sun Pyramids Tours prides itself on providing excellent customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction. They strive to meet and exceed your expectations, making your trip enjoyable and memorable. Add trip advisor reviews, Facebook page reviews, etc. Safety and Security: Sun Pyramids Tours prioritizes the safety and security of their guests. We work with trusted partners, adhere to safety guidelines, and provide support throughout your journey to ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience.

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