Abu Simbel is located in Nubia, southern Egypt. Sited on the western shore of Lake Nasser, the village is some 290 kilometres south of Aswan and only around 40 kilometres north of the Sudanese border.
The mighty temples, pictured here, have made the name of Abu Simbel internationally famous since their rediscovery in the early 19th century. Originally constructed during the reign of Ramesses II in the mid 13th century BCE, the temples were lost in the shifting sands of the Nubian desert for many centuries.
Despite being restored, the temples were faced with a new threat. The construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened to drown the monuments in the waters of Lake Nasser. An ambitious relocation project was undertaken that saw the temples relocated stone by stone to a dedicated site on higher ground nearby.
Estimated to have cost in the region of $40 million, the project guaranteed the protection of the Abu Simbel Temples for future generations. The structures are now protected as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are some of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Egypt.
Regular tours and excursions visit the site from the nearby cities of Luxor and Aswan.