The Temple of Hathour
The Temple Of Nefertari
While not as massive in size as the Great Temple of Rameses II, The Temple of Hathour is another interesting monument in Abu Simbel and is within close proximity to the great temple. This smaller temple was dedicated to the goddess Hathor and was built by Rameses as a tribute to his queen, Nefertari.
Just like the great temple, images of Rameses dominate the entrance of The Temple of Hathour too, however, there are statues of Nefertari as well positioned at each flank of the entrance in between massive statues of Rameses and yet again smaller statues of their princes at princesses at their feet.
Rameses must have had a great deal of affection for Nefertari because it was unprecedented to have same-size statues of a king’s wife beside her Lord in front of a temple.
The Interior Design
The design of the space within The Temple of Hathour is a little barer than that of the great temple. Images on the walls show Nefertari accompanying Rameses in the performance of religious rituals, worshipping and making sacrifices to the goddesses Hathor and Mut.
Again, just like Ramesses was depicted as a celestial king within the great temple, Nefertari is also depicted as a deified queen inside the temple of Hathor.
There are also carvings showing Rameses as a warrior eliminating his enemies on the wall. As opposed to the 4 rows of Orisis pillars in the great temple’s hall, the hall in The Temple of Hathour only feature three rows of two pillars each, all designed with images of Hathor heads.
Within the inner court, a huge image of Hathour carved out of the stone walls shows her in the form of a sacred cow-goddess rising out of the Western Mountain.
The antechamber is surrounded by vivid images of Hathour in her sacred boat and you get the feeling of being in a cave when walking through the side chambers which were etched out of the surrounding rocks.
Other Interesting Monuments In The Vicinity
Apart from the great temple of Rameses II and the temple of Hathour, there are still some interesting sites to view at Abu Simbel. Below the cliffs that house the temples can be found a set of stones into which the names of Nubian officials were carved.
Also, still visible are relics of a sun-court towards the northern edge of the great temple. In the vicinity as well as the marriage stele on which the contractual wedding between Rameses II and a Hittite princess was recorded.