Abu Simbel Temple to witness rare sun illumination of King Ramses II statue

FILE - Abu Simbel Temple - Wikimedia Commons/Pepaserbio

Thu, Feb. 20, 2020

CAIRO - 20 February 2020: Abu Simbel Temple is due to witness on Saturday a rare astronomical event which happens twice every year when the first rays of the morning sun illuminate the statue of King Ramses II.

The spectacle, which marks the king's birthday on February 22 and his coronation on October 22, is expected to take place on 6:23 (Cairo local time) and last for a few minutes.

The biannual fall of sun rays on King Ramses II Statute, one of the most popular remnants of the Pharaonic era, usually draws a large number of local and foreign visitors.

One of Egypt's most powerful and well-known pharaohs, Ramses II had the temple carved into a sandstone mountain on the banks of the Nile.

Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia in southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan, houses, 3,200-year-old Abu Simbel temples which are two massive rock temples situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan.

The UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its four colossal statues at the entrance, was partially buried in the sands before being rediscovered in the 1800s

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