Google today displays a historian doodle featuring the great temples of Abu Simbel, Egypt to commemorate the Abu Simbel Solar Phenomena which falls today. The Abu Simbel temples in Nubia, southern Egypt are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). It is believed that the axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that on 22 February and 22 October the rays of the sun would illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld who always remained in the darkness.
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir.
The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt's top tourist attractions. Abu Simbel Solar Phenomena occurs on 22 February and 22 October every year.