In the far south of Egypt, on a lonely, barren shore stands one of Egypt’s most dramatic sites.
We include this site in most of our Egypt tours, while many tour operators offer it only as an optional add-on.
The temples were built by Rameses II (the Great) more than three thousand years ago as a kind of Welcome/Beware sign to greet those crossing into the country.
Four 65-ft. colossal statues of the seated pharaoh guard the entrance to the Great Temple. On the adjacent small temple, six 33-foot standing statues flank the center portal, 2 of Rameses and 1 of his queen Nefertari on each side. This is a rare example in ancient Egyptian art of a queen depicted in the same size as the king.
When the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s, the original location of the temples was flooded. The temples were moved in 20-ton blocks and reassembled on higher ground (complete with artificial mountain backdrop) to be overlooking Lake Nasser rather than submerged in it.
The site is reached from Aswan by about an hour flight or a 3-4 hour overland convoy of motor coaches and mini vans. It’s also possible to visit by cruise from Aswan across Lake Nasser.
Can you name that site?