Clouds spoil Abu Simbel temple solar alignment for thousands
Thousands gathered on Feb.22, 2016 to observe the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over Abu Simbel temple near Aswan. Photo by Abdullah Salah
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CAIRO: The view of thousands of tourists of the bi-annual solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple was spoiled by clouds Monday, reported Youm7.

The crowds reportedly arrived in the early morning to the temple, southwest of the tourist city of Aswan, to observe the phenomenon of solar alignment as they do every year, but the sun, which should have passed over the face of Ramses II, was blocked by clouds.

Thousands gathered on Feb.22, 2016 to observe the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over Abu Simbel temple near Aswan. Photo by Abdullah Salah

Thousands gathered on Feb.22, 2016 to observe the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over Abu Simbel temple near Aswan. Photo by Abdullah Salah

Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh el-Damaty, Minister of Culture Helmy el-Nemnem left the site after they waited for 20 minutes.

Both ministers and Aswan Governor Magdy Hegazy participated in a celebration on Sunday, in which local and international artist teams performed.

Celebrations mark the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple,    on Feb.21, 2016. Photo by Abdullah Salah/Youm7

Celebrations mark the biannual phenomenon of solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple, on Feb.21, 2016. Photo by Abdullah Salah/Youm7

 

The Abu Simbel temples are among seven archaeological sites in Egypt on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

For most of the year, the inner sanctuary of Pharaoh Ramses II’s (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.) main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness. However, the temple was built so that a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom and illuminates statues of God Amun Re and the Pharaoh in the temple’s inner shrine twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and Feb. 22, which marks his coronation day.

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