The Temple of Queen Nefertari

The Temple of Queen Nefertari

Ramesses II consolidated his godly status by establishing a myriad of temples dedicated to worshipping him. As a result, Abu Simbel's gorgeous temples are a spectacular paean to Ramesses the Great and his lovely Queen Nefertari as grand deities. During his lifetime and following his death, Nubians and Egyptians alike worshipped the great pharaoh in that region. The temple of queen Nefertari was constructed north of Abu Simbel's Great Temple. Which was also dedicated to Hathor.

The Construction of The Temple

The temple has a two-sided entrance carved with scenes of Ramesses II presenting wine to ReHorakhti (ReHorakhti is the fusion between the god Ra and the god Horus). The entrance’s arches are adorned with cartouches and texts about Nefertari and Ramesses II. After passing through the entrance, a passage will lead you to a square hall. Six square columns buttress the temple’s ceiling with each column crowned with goddess Hathor’s head. Ramesses II and Nefertari are seen on the columns offering gifts to various gods and goddesses. The ceiling itself has a text carved into it where Ramesses II is dedicating the temple to Queen Nefertari, the embodiment of goddess Hathor, the eye of god Ra, the wife of the living king, and the mother of the future Pharaoh.

The Artistic Scenes depicted in The Temple

You can see several scenes on the walls of this hall like Ramesses II advancing towards the god Ptah in his palace. We also see Queen Nefertari before the goddess Hathor and King Ramesses II offering wine to Re-Horakhti. Three doorways in the back of the pillared hall lead to a large vestibule. The center entrance is adorned with Ramesses II's titles. The vestibule door is adorned with scenes of Ramesses II delivering wine to Re-Horakhti and Nefertari offering flowers to Khnum (Ancient Egyptian god of fertility), Satet(Archer-goddess of the Nile cataracts and the goddess of inundation), and Anhket (Patron deity of the Nile River). Ramesses II delivers flowers to Horus-Min, Horus-Baki, and Horus-Bohan, as well as wine to AmunRe. An entrance leading to the inner sanctuary is situated in the center of the west wall. This entrance is decorated with cartouches of Nefertari, protected by the vulture goddess Nekhbet's wings (Protector of Upper Egypt and its rulers). A niche in the sanctuary's western wall has a rock-cut figure of the goddess Hathor in the guise of a cow guarding Ramesses II. The Abu Simbel temples are once again performing their intended purpose, delivering eternal life to its architect and his consort, after millennia of being buried beneath the dunes.


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