Beit El Wali Temple

Beit El Wali Temple


Beit El Wali Temple is near Kalabsha temple in Aswan’s New Kalabsha district, south of the Aswan High Dam.

Who created it?

It is considered a Nubian monument by Ramesses II.

Why was it constructed?

It was constructed to honor God Amon and other gods.


A Polish archaeological team salvaged Beit El Wali Temple from Lake Nasser with the help of a combined Oriental Institute of Chicago/Swiss Institute of Cairo project.

Beit El Wali Temple was designed in a symmetrical cruciform pattern; A deep hall, a transversal antechamber with two columns, and a sanctuary make up the structure. Except for the front wall of the large hall with its central gateway; the temple, defined as a speos; was mostly hewn from the surrounding rock.

The reliefs in the deep hall; are historically significant since they show the Syrian; Libyan, and Ramesses II victories over the Nubians. So many of Ramesses II’s sons are; depicted in war scenes during the Nubian campaigns.

There is a main doorway that connects to a transverse antechamber; which was later built. Two architrave aligned north-south; supported by two robust fluted columns; support the rock ceiling. These columns are of the “proto-Doric” form; with four vertical plane sides that are engraved; have entices; a blank horizontal fillet at the apex; and a square abacus.

A niche in the rear wall of this transverse hall contains a statuary group comprised of Ramesses II between two divinities; a single leading past from the rear wall of the antechamber to the single sanctuary; and a niche in the rear wall of this chamber contains three statues chosen to represent Ramesses II between two deities.

There are numerous viewpoints on the temple art. According to archaeologists; there were as many as four main stages of construction that resulted in this modest temple; with as many as three artists sculpting the walls. The temple was converted into a church during the early Coptic period.

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