Temple of Hathor

Abu Simbel

Next to the Great Temple of Ramses II sits the smaller of Abu Simbel's temples. The Temple of Hathor has a rock-cut facade fronted by six 10m-high standing statues of Ramses and Nefertari, with some of their many children by their side. Nefertari here wears the costume of the goddess Hathor, and is, unusually, portrayed as the same height as her husband (instead of knee-height, as most consorts were depicted).

Inside, the six pillars of the hypostyle hall are crowned with capitals in the bovine shape of Hathor. On the walls the queen appears in front of the gods very much equal to Ramses II, and she is seen honouring her husband. The vestibule and adjoining chambers, which have colourful scenes of the goddess and her sacred barque, lead to the sanctuary, which has a weathered statue of Hathor as a cow emerging from the rock. The art here is softer and more graceful than in the Great Temple.

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