Burckhardt said of the first face on the left that it "was the most expressive, youthful countenance, approaching nearer to the Grecian model of beauty than that of any ancient Egyptian figure I have seen."
The axis of the temple is arranged so that on two days of the year, in February and October, the rising sun shoots its rays through the entrance and halls until it finally illuminates the sanctuary statues.
As with Ramesses’ own temple, the cliff face was cut back to resemble sloping walls of a pylon. Six colossal standing figures 33 feet high four of Ramesses and two of Nefertari, were cut from the rock face, along with smaller figures of the royal family. An inscription over the entrance reads "Ramesses II, he has made a temple, excavated in the mountain, of eternal workmanship, for the chief queen Nefertari, beloved of Mu, in Nubia, forever and ever, Nefertari for whose sake the very sun does shine."
Inside, Nefertari’s temple has a single pillared hall, with carved Hathor heads atop the pillars. On the sides facing the center of the hypostyle; Ramesses is shown smiting his enemies and offering before various gods, while Nefertari is shown, graceful and slender, with hands raised. Three doors lead to a vestibule with ancillary rooms at either end.
The sanctuary is complete, though two spaces were left on its side walls for doors to rooms, which were never cut. The inner chamber contains a number of images interrelating the royal couple and the gods. On the rear wall, Hathor is depicted in high relief as a cow emerging from the western mountain, with the king standing beneath her chin. Nefertari is shown repeatedly participating in the divine rituals on an equal footing with the king. On the left wall, Nefertari is seen worshipping before Mut and Hathor, and on the right, Ramesses worships before images of his deified self and his wife.
When Greek mercenaries passed by in the 6th century BCE, sand already reached the knees of the statues. These ancient sight-see-ers left an inscription which reads "When King Psammetichus