Answer: Pharaoh Ramses II.
Some extra relevant information:
The pharaoh who ordered the construction of the Abu Simbel Temples was Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great. This iconic figure in ancient Egyptian history reigned over Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BCE, during the New Kingdom period. Ramses II was known for his ambitious building projects and military conquests, and the Abu Simbel Temples stand as a testament to his grandeur and architectural prowess.
Located in southern Egypt, near the present-day border with Sudan, the Abu Simbel Temples were carved out of sandstone cliffs along the banks of the Nile River. The main temple, dedicated to the gods Ra-Horakhty, Amun, and Ptah, served as a symbol of the pharaoh’s divine power and his role as a mediator between the gods and his people.
The construction of the Abu Simbel Temples took place during the first 20 years of Ramses II’s reign, with the project completed around 1265 BCE. The temples were carefully positioned and designed to align with the rising sun on specific dates, most notably during the pharaoh’s birthday and the anniversary of his ascension to the throne.
The larger temple, known as the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, features four colossal statues of Ramses II seated on a throne, each measuring approximately 20 meters in height. The facade of the temple showcases intricate reliefs depicting military victories and religious scenes, immortalizing Ramses II’s achievements and spiritual devotion.
The smaller temple, dedicated to Ramses II’s favorite wife, Queen Nefertari, showcases impressive statues of the pharaoh and his queen. The interior of both temples contains elaborately decorated chambers and halls adorned with stunning murals depicting the pharaoh’s military triumphs and divine encounters.
The Abu Simbel Temples remained largely hidden and forgotten until their rediscovery in the early 19th century. In the 1960s, due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the threat of flooding, a massive international effort was undertaken to relocate the temples to higher ground. This incredible feat of engineering preserved the temples and allowed them to continue captivating visitors from around the world.
Today, the Abu Simbel Temples are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stand as a testament to the skill, power, and legacy of Ramses II, forever etched in stone for future generations to admire and marvel at.