Twice a year, on 22 February and 22 October, the face of the statue of King Rameses II inside the temple in Abu Simbel is lit up by the sun and dates coincide with his date of birth and his coronation respectively.
The temple, located deep in Upper Egypt, was carved into rocks on the banks of the river Nile. After the completion of the Aswan dam the temple and its unique feature of solar alignment would have flooded as the waters were rising so an archeological rescue mission in the form of moving the complete temple to higher ground was performed.
Seeing the magical moment when the sun lights up the statues of Rameses II, Amun-Ra and Ra-Horakhty draws large groups of tourists to the temple twice per year. The fourth statue in the inner chamber depicts the god of the underworld, Ptah, and his face remains in darkness as the others light up.
The Google doodle today shows the moment that the sun shines on the faces of the statues, drawing the attention of the world to this intriguing phenomena and highlighting the treasures that Egypt has to offer to its visitors.