Abu Simbel is a location in the Upper Egypt which is now protected by UNESCO. The protection proved necessary, since the waters of Lake Nasser were practically threatening to swallow the place. The location is best known for the temple complex honoring the memory of Ramses II, one of Egypt's great pharaohs.
You will find Abu Simbel to be quite close to the Sudanese border. The village itself is quite little, but its temples are what drag people here each year. If you want, you can spend the night at one of the local hotels.
The temples are no longer on their original spot. Because in the 1960's the waters of Lake Nasser were rising, the temples had to be removed stone by stone and reassembled in another location. So, the temple of Abu Simbel is no longer where it was supposed to be.
In order to preserve the same looks for the Great Temple, the construction was reassembled using a fake mountain to support it. This is built like a dome, under which the stone cubes were placed so that the temple looks like in its glorious past.
The most impressive feature of the temple must be the enormous statues guarding the entrance. It is believed that the huge statues had the important role of scaring off any enemies approaching the borders from the south.
If you want to know more about the temple complex, you can surely use some additional literature. The carvings are hard to read, and you will not get enough time to explore the sites while you are inside the temple.
Because of the great importance of the Temple of Abu Simbel, many countries decided to lend a helping hand when the High Dam was under construction. The construction determined the waters of Lake Nasser to rise and, without the concentrated efforts of all these people, the temple would be under water.
In order to reassemble the temples in all their glory, they were cut into pieces and then carried on higher ground. It took four years for the operation to conclude with a success, from 1964 till 1968.
Ramses II was deified, and therefore the decorations at Abu Simbel are quite particular. The temples were built to honour several gods: Ptah, Amon, Re-Hor-Akhty and King Ramses. All the four impressive statues guarding the gate represent the deified pharaoh. The statues represent the pharaoh sitting on a throne, with a double crown on his head. The other characters, gathering at his feet, represent his wives and children.
If you enter inside, you will see a large hall standing on rock pillars, decorated with battles and other scenes. The side rooms also serve as a tell tale of events that long passed. Towards the end of the large hall, you will discover the sanctuary where the statues of the four gods are being held.