The Great Ramses II
was one of the greatest builders in ancient Egypt; he was also famous for his battles to conquer lands. During his reign, he wanted to control Nubia, so he built a series of temples on the Nubian lands. One of these temples was Beit El-Wali, which means in Arabic "House of the Holy man."
When was Beit El-Wali built?
The temple of Beit El-Wali was built in Nubia.In 1960, it was relocated with a series of other temples. After building the High Dam of Aswan
, it was rescued by a Polish archeological team.
Beit El-Wali Temple location
The new location of the temple is 50 Km south of the High Dam, at the same new site of Kalabsha Temple
. This area is called New Kalabsha, located in Aswan
; you can visit it during a Lake Nasser
Why was Beit El-Wali built?
Beit El-Wali temple was built in dedication to God Amen, Khnum, and Anuket. As mentioned above, Ramses II's real intention in creating this temple and other temples in Nubia was to maintain Egyptian control over it.
This temple was also used as a church at the beginning of the Coptic period in Egypt.
Beit El-Wali temple Description
This temple is one of the small ones; it was built on a symmetrical level and as a Rock-cut temple, and when it was relocated, it was made the same way. The temple of Beit El-Wali consists of a forecourt, antechamber with two columns, and a sanctuary.
The sanctuary of the temple is cut into the surrounding rock and fronted by a pylon. The entire temple is built in a Rock-cut style except for the front wall and the doorway.
What was the Beit el-Wali made of?
Beit el-Wali is another of Ramesses II's Nubian monuments dedicated primarily to Amun and other gods, carved from the sandstone hillside. It is likely unique as the smallest of its gender.
Reliefs on the walls of Beit El-Wali
Like most of ancient Egypt's temples, the walls cast Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt, like Amen and Anuket. You'll find near the middle of the wall in the south, Ramses II depicted during his Nubian military expeditions.
The Temple of Beit El-Wali is not the only temple located in the New Kalabsha area; near it, you'll see Kalabsha temple. You can also visit the other relocated temples like "Gerf Hussein," a temple that was built in dedication to Ramses II and God Ptah. Also found nearby, the Temple of Amada
, Derr temple
, and Wadi El Sebua.
The Lake Nasser cruise is a unique trip, and you won't help but wonder how the temples were moved and rebuilt like that. To know more about this process, you can also visit the Nubian Museum, which tells the stories of these saved temples and other temples that couldn't be saved.