Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Abu-Simbel
ABU-SIMBEL, the ancient Aboccis or Abuncis, a place of ruins in Upper Egypt, between the first and second cataract, having two temples built by Ramses the Great in 1388 and 1392, one for himself and one for the god Hathor. They lie a short distance apart, at the foot of a precipitous cliff close to the west bank of the Nile. No temple in Egypt produces so grand an effect as the rock temple of Ramses II., and by moonlight its effect is even finer. Its dignified sculptures and the gorgeous colored representations in its interior repay the trouble of the ascent from Philae. This most stupendous work of ancient Egyptian architecture was the creation of Ramses II. It was excavated out of the solid rock and dedicated at first to the leading deities of Egypt proper, Amnion of Thebes and Re-Harmakhis, but other deities were worshipped there as well. In 1892 the façade 119 feet broad and over 100 feet wide, was restored and two walls had to be built to protect it from the sand which blew into it from the west desert.