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Mysteries of Egypt's ancient world revealed

15 Aug 2007

Nearly 3,500 years ago, Egypt's most powerful pharaoh, Ramses II, ordained that his temple at Abu Simbel would light up every year on the anniversary of his rise to greatness and on his birthday.

The temple was not discovered until 1813 by famous Swiss Orientalist Ludqig Burckhardt, but today visitors flock to the World Heritage Site to witness the synergy between human endeavour and natural phenomena.

The inner sanctum of the ancient structure is bathed in glorious shards of light, which illuminate statues of Ramses, Ra and Amun (while the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, remains shrouded in shadow).

This year, the marvel will occur at sunrise on 22 September, and is accompanied by a fair and concert just outside the temple, however these celebrations pale in comparison to the main event.

Fancy going to this event? Use Opodo's travel search engine to find flights and hotels for your stay.

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