Abu-simbel

Abu-Simbel  (ä´bōō-sim ´bel ) on the Nile, in Lower Nubia is the site of two very remarkable rockcut temples, among the most perfect and noble specimens of Egyptian architecture. Here there is no exterior and constructed part; the rock out of which they have been excavated rises too near the river. Still the temples have their façade, as richly decorated and as monumental in its character as those of the most sumptuous edifices of Thebes.

The colossal statues here, instead of being isolated monoliths, are a part of the façade itself, hewn out of the rock, though still forming part of it. The façade of the smaller temple, that of Hathor, is eighty-eight feet long and thirty-nine feet high. It has six colossal figures, about thirty-two feet high, of which four represent Rameses, and the other two his wife, Nefert-Ari. The façade of the great temple is larger, being one hundred and twenty-six feet long and ninety-three feet high.

Most striking are the four colossal figures of Rameses, two to the right, two to the left of the door. These are the largest figures of Egyptian sculpture, being sixty-six feet high. Everywhere are pictures like those at Luxor and Karnak, representing the battles and triumphs of Rameses.