The Temples of Abu Simbel
SHORE EXCURSION FROM THE KASR IBRIM
The colossal temples at Abu Simbel were carved out of the solid rock during the reign of the great pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BC. After centuries of being buried beneath the sands, they were rediscovered by the Swiss explorer Burckhart in 1813. The creation of Lake Nasser in the 1960s threatened to engulf the temples, and they were only saved by a UNESCO operation whereby the entire site was dismantled piece by piece and reconstructed on an artificial island close to the original location. The Temple of Ramses is now backed by a man-made mountain which is in itself a source of wonder. Due to the sheer volume of visitors wishing to see this masterpiece, the tour of the site is fairly short (little more than an hour) and guides are no longer allowed to go inside the temples to give explanations. Nevertheless, Abu Simbel is a unique destination that should not be missed.