Architect : n/a
Completion: 1224 BC (ca.)
Locality : Abu Simbel
Country : Egypt
Building style : Ancient Egyptian architecture
Project on the map (green arrow)
“Belzoni [Giovanni Baptista Belzoni (1778–1823), Italian pioneer Egyptologist (1)] then went to south to Abu Simbel again and managed to clear away enough sand from the middle of the four great figures of the king to find the top of a doorway and slide down into the temple. ‘We soon made the passage wider, and entered the finest and most extensive excavation in Nubia, one that can stand competition with any except for the tomb recently discovered in Beban el Malook [the Valley of the Kings].’ Belzoni is writing here with hindsight as he entered the temple of Abu Simbel on 1 August 1817…Belzoni and his fellow travellers (…) were astounded by the temple’s immense size and decoration. He realized immediately that the ‘hero’ seen on the walls in many actions was the same that he had seen at the Ramesseum and Luxor, that it, Ramses II.” (2)
(1) Clayton, Peter A.: “A Pioneer Egyptologist: Giovanni Baptista Belzoni, 1778–1823” in Starkey, Paul and Starkey, Janet (ed.): Travellers in Egypt, I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1998, p. 41.
(2) Idem., pp. 44–45.
“The steamer was moored to the bank and a few hundred yards away, the morning sun just striking it, was a great temple carved out of the face of the rock. Four colossal figures, hewn out of the cliff, look out eternally over the Nile and face the rising sun.
Cornelia Robson said incoherently: ‘Oh, Monsieur Poirot, isn’t it wonderful? I mean they’re so big and peaceful – and looking at them makes one feel that one’s so small – and rather like an insect – and that nothing matters very much really, does it?’”
“Grand, isn’t it?’ said Simon Doyle, strolling up. He went confidentially to Poirot: ‘You know, I’m not much of a fellow for temples and sight-seeing and all that, but a place like this sort of gets you, if you know what I mean. Those old Pharaohs must have been wonderful fellows.’”
Christie, Agatha: Death on the Nile, Harper Collins Publishers, Agatha Christie Signature Edition 2001, pp. 145–146.
Ed. Katriina Puputti