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Aswan

Egyptian city

228km

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Luxor

city in Egypt

358km

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Valley of the Kings

necropolis in ancient Egypt

362km

25.7402532.602358
Sights

Abu Simbel temples

Carved out of a mountain between 1274 BC and 1244 BC, but lost to the world until it was rediscovered in 1813 by Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burkhart. Dedicated to Ramses II and gods Ra, Amun, and Ptah. Features 4 statues of Ramses, each higher than 20 m. Its axis was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that twice a year, on February and October 22, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculpture on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark. These dates are allegedly the king's birthday and coronation day respectively, but there is no evidence to support this, though it is quite logical to assume that these dates had some relation to a great event, such as the jubilee celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the pharaoh's rule. This image of the king was enhanced and revitalized by the energy of the solar star, and the deified Ramses II could take his place next to Amun Ra and Ra-Horakhty. Due to the displacement of the temple, it is widely believed that this event now occurs one day later than it used to. Also, look for a "Kilroy was here" on the lower legs of one of the 4 giant statues of Ramesses II, along with other graffiti, used to be considered fashionable.Guards do check for photo permits, especially in the main temple.Be sure to follow the pathway inside the fake mountain dome, to see how the mountain was constructed.

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Abu Simbel

Egypt
Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt was saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, growing behind the Aswan Dam, in a massive archaeological rescue plan sponsored by UNESCO in the 1960s. The complex of temples dedicated to the Pharaoh Ramsis II "the Great" remain an evocative and unforgettable destination.

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