The Great Temple of Ramesses II (left) and the Small Temple of Hathor and Nefertari (right).
Flag of UNESCO
The statue of Ramses the Great at the Great Temple of Abu Simbel is reassembled after having been moved in 1967 to save it from flooding.
UNESCO offices in Brasília
A scale model showing the original and current location of the temple (with respect to the water level) at the Nubian Museum, in Aswan
UNESCO Institute for Water Education in Delft
The Small Temple after relocation
The Garden of Peace at UNESCO headquarters
Nefertari offering sistrums to seated goddess Hathor, frieze inside the Small Temple
Carondelet Palace, Presidential Palace – with changing of the guards. The Historic Center of Quito, Ecuador, is one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas. This centre was, together with the historic centre of Kraków in Poland, the first to be declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 18 September 1978.
alt=Geneva architect, Jean Jacquet, a Unesco expert, makes an architectural survey of the Great Temple of Rameses II (1290–1223 B.C.).|Genevese architect Jean Jacquet, a UNESCO expert, makes an architectural survey of the Great Temple of Rameses II (1290–1223 BC)
View of the partially excavated Great Temple from the right, with a human figure for scale
Front view of the Great Temple before 1923
Interior of the Great Temple, before cleaning
Interior of the Great Temple, after cleaning
Human figures standing at the entrance to the Great Temple, sometime before 1923
The collapsed colossus of the Great Temple supposedly fell during an earthquake shortly after its construction. On moving the temple, it was decided to leave it as the face is missing.
A close-up of one of the colossal statues of Ramesses II wearing the double crown of Lower and Upper Egypt
The Small Temple from below and left, before 1923
Westernmost Colossus, 1850 by Maxime Du Camp
Earliest photo, 1854 by John Beasley Greene
Facade of the Temple of Ramesses II, photo taken in 2007
Close-up of the leftmost statue at the temple of Rameses II
Central, inset statue of Ra-Horakhty at the Great Temple
Baboon carvings above the heads of the statues of Ramses at the Great Temple
View of the Great Temple from the west, photo credited to William Henry Goodyear (before 1923)
Facade of the Great Temple from before 1923
View of the rightmost statue at the Great Temple, partially excavated, with a human figure (possibly William Henry Goodyear) for scale
View of the Great Temple's colossal statues from the right, partially excavated
Interior of the Great Temple, before cleaning
Colour photo of the Great Temple from the right, partially excavated, from before 1923
The Great Temple from the right, from before 1923
Abu Simbel temple, four statues of divinities inside the inner sanctuary
Frieze inside the Great Temple of Abu Simbel
Facade of the Temple 2006
Earliest photo of Smaller Temple, 1854 by John Beasley Greene
The gods Set (left) and Horus (right) blessing Ramesses in the small temple at Abu Simbel
Stele adjacent to smaller temple, 1854 by John Beasley Greene
The Small Temple in its relocated context, 1999
Closer view of the Small Temple, 2007
Ramesses offering to seated god Ptah. Frieze inside the Small Temple.
Inscription at the entrance to the Great Temple. Hooper Brooklyn Museum Archives
The Small Temple in context, before relocation. Goodyear Brooklyn Museum Archives
Statues in the sanctuary of the Great Temple
Interior of Nefertari's (queen's) temple at Abu Simbel, with graffiti
View of the Nile from Abu Simbel, before 1923. Brooklyn Museum Archives

The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments", which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan), and include Amada, Wadi es-Sebua, and other Nubian sites.

- Abu Simbel

The purpose of the campaign was to move the Great Temple of Abu Simbel to keep it from being swamped by the Nile after the construction of the Aswan Dam.

- UNESCO

2 related topics

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The World Heritage emblem is used to identify properties protected by the World Heritage Convention and inscribed on the official World Heritage List.

World Heritage Site

The World Heritage emblem is used to identify properties protected by the World Heritage Convention and inscribed on the official World Heritage List.
Site No. 252: Taj Mahal, an example of a cultural heritage site
Site No. 156: Serengeti National Park, an example of a natural heritage site
Site No. 274: Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, an example of a mixed heritage site
Site No. 1, the Galápagos Islands, had its boundaries extended in 2001 and 2003, and was included on the danger list from 2007 to 2010
UNESCO World Heritage Sites

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The most famous of these are the temple complexes of Abu Simbel and Philae.

Aswan Dam

World's largest embankment dam, which was built across the Nile in Aswan, Egypt, between 1960 and 1970.

World's largest embankment dam, which was built across the Nile in Aswan, Egypt, between 1960 and 1970.

Egyptian President Nasser and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at the ceremony to divert the Nile during the construction of the Aswan High Dam on 14 May 1964. At this occasion Khrushchev called it "the eighth wonder of the world".
Gamal Abdel Nasser observing the construction of the dam, 1963
A view from the vantage point in the middle of High Dam towards the monument of Arab-Soviet Friendship (Lotus Flower) by architects Piotr Pavlov, Juri Omeltchenko and sculptor Nikolay Vechkanov
A central pylon of the monument to Arab-Soviet Friendship. The memorial commemorates the completion of the Aswan High Dam. The coat of arms of the Soviet Union is on the left and the coat of arms of Egypt is on the right.
Green irrigated land along the Nile amidst the desert
Water balances
Main irrigation systems (schematically)
The Egyptian countryside benefited from the Aswan High Dam through improved irrigation as well as electrification, as shown here in Al Bayadiyah, south of Luxor.
Power pylons at the power plant of the Aswan High Dam.
Power plant of the Aswan High Dam, with the dam itself in the background.
A picture of the old Wadi Halfa town that was flooded by Lake Nasser.
View of New Wadi Halfa, a settlement created on the shore of Lake Nasser to house part of the resettled population from the Old Wadi Halfa town.
The statue of Ramses the Great at the Great Temple of Abu Simbel is reassembled after having been moved in 1967 to save it from being flooded.
Lake Nasser behind the Aswan dam displaced more than 100,000 people and traps significant amounts of sediment.
Skin vesicles: a symptom of schistosomiasis. A more common symptom is blood in the urine.
The catch of sardines in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast declined after the Aswan Dam was completed, but the exact reasons for the decline are still disputed.

In the 1950s, archaeologists began raising concerns that several major historical sites, including the famous temple of Abu Simbel were about to be submerged by waters collected behind the dam.

A rescue operation began in 1960 under UNESCO (for details see below under Effects).