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|1979||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|Clyde (Malta):
I visited this WHS in March 2010. The Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae were saved from the rising waters of the Nile and both are immensely beautiful. Abu Simbel is surely one of Egypt's top WHS.
Date posted: September 2012 Indigo Newbery-Chunn (Australia):
The Nubian monuments are amazing and very intresting for primary students to learn about. I have been there many times and loved it
Date posted: August 2012 Claire Nicholas (UK):
I have been lucky enough to visit Abu Simbel several times, and also managed to time one of these visits to coincide with the sunrise lighting up the statues at the back of the temple. I am as much in awe of the rescue of Abu Simbel as of its original construction. I also visited the monuments on Lake Nasser a few years ago, and plan to return in 2011.
The UNESCO campaign of the 1960's impressed me so much that I decided to base my dissertation for my MA in Egyptian Archaeology on the rescued Nubian monuments. I am using them as a case study, to measure to what extent the rescue - but subsequent removal to other countries - has enabled a wider understanding of the original culture.
As a tool to help me collect people's opinions, I have created my own website explaining my project, and including a blog. I would very much appreciate receiving your comments, and those of your readers. I also hope to publish a link to a survey soon on my website, but I need to increase readership first to make this worthwhile. The site is here www.whithernubia.co.uk
Keep up the good work!
Date posted: April 2010 stewart ayu (canada):
Nubian Monuments: In 1988 I spent 18 days crossing the Nubian Desert of Sudan. Then I took the run down Sudanese barge crossing lake nasser ending in Aswan. The journey was on deck class with about 1000 Sudanese and took 48 hours. Remains of the other Sudanese ferry could be seen. Everyone drowned or were eaten by Nile crocodiles. Along the way was a magical glimpse of Abu Simbel in the distance. It was a timeless and powerful experience.
Date posted: March 2009 Christer Sundberg (Sweden):
After having enjoyed the life in Cairo for a week - one of the truly most exciting cities in the world - I then took the train from the bustling Ramses station down through the Nile valley heading for Aswan in southern Egypt. Instead of catching a plane, this is a recommendable way to see some of the river landscape and rural Egypt, as the train slowly follows the river, downstream to Luxor and 14 hours later arrives in Aswan.
Aswan itself is a lush oasis and virtually the “last stop” before Sudan and the Nubian deserts takes ove and is itself well worth a stop for a couple of days. A short, early morning flight, then took me the last 300 km down to the famous Ramses-statues in Abu Simbel, moved away from the rising water when the Aswan dam was constructed back in 1972. Once on site, you realise what a majestic project this must have been, almost more impressing than the actual statues themselves.
Later the evening, I also visited the temples of Philae, which was also moved away from the rising water and are now located on a small island not too far from the dam itself. Small boats takes you across the water and you can enjoy the beauty of the temple of Isis and Trajans Kiosk, the latter being one of the most photographed temples in Egypt, while having a tea or a drink in the small café.
Date posted: February 2006 Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
The area between Assuan and the Sudanese border is one of the greatest (and largest) archaeological areas in the world - unfortunately, much of it is located beneath Lake Assuan. However, the greatest temples - Abu Simbel and Philae -, have survived thanks to UNESCO´s help and major feats of engineering, as well as smaller sites at islands like Elephantine. Philae is a very interesting and beautiful place, but there are few words to describe the magic of Abu Simbel, the temple built by one of Egypt´s greatest rulers, Pharao Ramses II. Seeing the sun rise at Abu Simbel is an unforgettable experience, even after a four-hour busride from Assuan leaving at 3 am. Needless to say, flying is a lot quicker and easier. Assuan itself is a relatively pleasant town with a nice bazaar, a great botanical garden at Kitchener Island, and the Nubian Museum, which I unfortunately missed. The extreme south of Egypt is one of the most interesting parts of the country and must not be missed by any serious traveller.
Date posted: June 2005 Kelly K. Henry (USA):
Abu Simbel is just 40 km from the Sudan and 100 km from any decent sized Egyptian city. The best way to visit is to fly there from Luxor or Aswan. Return flights are less than US$80. The temple was completely dismantled and moved to a higher site when the Aswan High Dam was constructed. If that hadn't happened, the site would be 60m underwater right now. That action was UNESCO World Heritage's first big save at an expense of US$40M in the 1960's and 70's.
Abu Simbel is massive and is perched high on a cliff at the edge of Lake Nasser. The 4 statues of Ramses II at the entrance are more than 30ft high each. The interior is covered with exceptional carvings and paintings.
Philae is at the edge of Aswan also on Lake Nasser. You have to take a quick ferry to get there. This is considered the most beautiful temple in Egypt -- (sort of their Aphrodite). ALthough the structures are less intact that most other Egyptian temples, the island site is beautiful, especially at sunset.
Have you been to Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae? Share your experiences!