Abu Simbel's biannual solar alignment observed in Aswan
CAIRO: Aswan celebrated the Abu Simbel Temple solar alignment phenomenon which was observed Thursday morning.
Ministers of tourism, antiquities and irrigation, dozens of tourists, 55 French tour operators along with Aswan Governor Mostafa Youssry were present during the celebration.
"At 05:35 a.m., the sun's rays struck the temple's sanctuary and illuminated the faces of the statues of Ramses II, God Ra-Horakhty and God Amon-Ra and leaving the statue of Ptah, the God of darkness in darkness. The sanctuary went dark again at around 05:45," tour guide Magdy Abdel Mohsen told The Cairo Post Thursday.
The temple was built so that the phenomenon occurs twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and on Feb. 22, which marks the pharaohs' coronation day, Abdel Mohsen said.
Abu Simbel is the seat of two rock-cut temples that were built by Ramses II (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.); the great temple which was basically dedicated to God Amon-Ra and the temple of Queen Nefertari, the pharaoh's wife, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban previously told The Cairo Post.
"In the 1960s and during the construction of the High Dam in Aswan, UNESCO launched a universal campaign to rescue the twin temples along with other Nubian monuments to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, a massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the dam," said Sabban.