Temple of Ramses II in El-Sebua

Temple of Ramses II in El-Sebua
Temple of Ramses II in El-Sebua

Here we are before another example of the many temples that had to be moved in Egypt when in the middle of the 20th century it was decided to build the great dam Assuan on the river Nile in the territory of Nubia. A construction that meant that large temples from the pharaonic era would be dismantled piece by piece, such as the emblematic set of Abu Simbel.


Temple of Ramses II at El-Sebua

However, there are many other examples and one of them is this temple that Ramses II also ordered to be built in El-Sebua, which had to be moved several kilometers to save it from the flood.

Actually, in this area of ​​El-Sebua there were two temples both built during the New Kingdom period. One was first ordered to be built by Pharaoh Amenhotep III. A building that had the sanctuary area excavated in the rock, while it was preceded by a pylon, a patio and another room with painted walls. Some paintings that would initially be dedicated to the cult of Horus, like the entire temple. Although later they became representations of the god Amón.

And later, very close by, Ramses II ordered the construction of another much larger temple. And also in this case, a part of the shrine is excavated and the rest is free.

As usual in the architecture of Egyptian temples, everything here is also organized byfrom a central axis. An axis that goes through up to three pylons and several patios, until finally the hypostyle hall is reached. By the way, this part over the centuries was eventually converted into a Coptic church.

The hypostyle hall continues with the area excavated in the rock. There is an antechamber, flanked by two side rooms. Then there are two chapels and finally the space of the sanctuary itself. The statues that were inside that sanctuary have not survived to this day, and it is more than possible that they represented Amón-Ra, a Ra-Horajtyand Pharaoh himself.

On the other hand, when you visit the moved temple today, you do see a kind of avenue of sphinxes and the occasional sculpture of the pharaoh. However, there are few remains compared to what there must have been originally, since scholars of the constructions made by Ramses II in Nubia estimate that this place had a great resemblance to what is seen in the temple of Abu Simbel, and here must have been huge sculptural figures of the ruler.

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