6.5K tourists watch sun alignment at Abu Simbel temple

CAIRO – 22 February 2019: A total of 6,500 tourists watched the sun alignment at the face of Ramses II status at Abu Simbel temple in Aswan for 20 minutes on Friday morning, announced the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities in a statement.

The sun illuminates four statues of King Ramses II seated at the top of the temple, symbolize the facade of the temple, which resembles an edifice. Each of these statues is about 22 meters long. This phenomenon happens twice per year on the anniversaries of Paranoiac king’s birthday and coronation on October 22 and February 22 respectively.

Thousands of visitors watch sun alignment at Abu Simbel statue in Aswan-Egypt Today/Abdullah Salah

The visitors include Ministers of Antiquities, Tourism, Investments, Culture and Communication Khaled Anani, Rania Mashat, Sahr Nasr, Inas Abdel-Dayem, Amr Talaat respectively, the statement added. Moreover, 22 African ambassadors and diplomats, along with their relatives, watched the sun alignment.

Ministers of Antiquities, Tourism, Investments, Culture and Communication pose for a picture outside Abu Simbel temple- Egypt Today/Abdullah Salah

Hussein Abdel Basir, director of the Antiquities Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, stated on Thursday that the sun illuminating the face of King Ramses II in Abu Simbel Temple is proof of how genius the ancient Egyptians were in engineering, astronomy and spirituality.

The condition of the temple was good until the Nile River levels rose, which began as a result of the construction of the High Dam and Nasser’s Lake. The Nile’s high water level could cause the temple to sink; hence it was necessary to relocate it to keep it from drowning.

The transfer of Abu Simbel Temple was one of the most difficult transfer processes throughout history. The challenge was great for architects and archaeologists alike.
The great Abu Simbel Temple overlooks Nasser Lake offering a magnificent view. The Abu Simbel Temple is considered one of the masterpieces of architecture in ancient Egypt.