Inside the Great Temple in the huge main room, the walls and pillars are covered with battle scenes the king waged, with the majority of it illustrating his victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh. In the numerous side rooms, there are literally thousands of reliefs of the gods, his family and hieroglyphics, no doubt praising his abilities as a great leader.
Next door is a smaller temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and Ramses’ most favored consort, his wife Queen Nefertari—not to be confused with Nefertiti who was the first Egyptian queen to have a temple dedicated to her, Nefertari was the second. Even at the entrance to his queen’s temple, Ramses had two statues of himself inserted on the ends, while she herself is represented by just one standing next to—who else—the king. In this temple, too, the interior is also filled with reliefs of the Goddess Hathor and the queen playing an instrument sacred to Hathor, as well as reliefs of other gods and goddesses. There are also several battle scenes depicting Ramses’ victories against his enemies and as his deification as king and god.
But here’s the kicker—the temple was designed so that there’s only two days a year that sunlight can pour into its interior and these guys figured that about 2,500 years ago. But there’s more. Modern engineering miracles came into play in 1964 when the original temple site was being threatened by the rising waters caused by the construction of the Aswan Dam. At a cost of $40 million and over a 4-year period, the entire site was chopped up into large blocks averaging 20 tons, dismantled and reassembled in its current location to save it from destruction. Wow!
Please tell your clients they will come back from Egypt with a whole different perspective about the Arab people themselves and with a true appreciation for this country, its history and the wonderful and unforgettable vacation experiences they’re going to enjoy.
For more on this trip to Egypt, visit “On the Road with Rick Shively” at recommend.com.