Egad! Ugly Egyptian Temples in Chino Hills, California? I’ll Pass.

THESE STOREFRONT “TEMPLES” located at The Commons in Chino Hills, CA, are certainly new on my Egyptological Enthusiast’s radar. Both structures are obviously intended to reproduce the renowned original cliffside-hewn sanctuaries of Abu Simbel, built thousands of years ago by Pharaoh Ramses II. The larger of the two original temples was dedicated to the deified king himself and a coterie of national gods like Ptah, Amun-Ra, Ra-Harakhte, and Thoth, while the smaller “boutique” temple nearby was consecrated to Ramses’s favorite wife, the beautiful Nefertari, appearing in the guise of Hathor, goddess of beauty and music.

These edifices in Chino Hills are not even a fraction of the size of the actual temples at Abu Simbel (I’ve seen the originals, baby) and in terms of workmanship they fall abysmally short, in comparison. Normally I don’t endorse cheap knock-offs of any glorious monument or relic from antiquity. I find these to be fairly ugly; they have all the aesthetic disappointment of a Taj Mahal made out of Legos, after seeing the real thing. But I’ll give this project a couple of points because few people can actually travel to Egypt to view the majestic temples, resplendent in size and craftsmanship, themselves, and one hopes that the purpose of these facades is to educate tourists—in some way—about their infinitely more glorious prototypes. Otherwise, they’re chintzy and fairly hideous to behold: with all the “wow factor” of quickie set pieces designed by crews to stage some old, pseudo-exotic RKO B-movie starring Yvonne DeCarlo.

And the writer of the piece lost me entirely by mentioning that “some people believe the ancient Egyptian pyramids and temples were built by aliens.” People who believe that should be dipped in natron and pitch.

I mean, Washington D.C. has fabulous large-scale reproductions of Greek temples (Lincoln Memorial, Supreme Court) and a tremendous Egyptian-style obelisk (Washington Monument) … did little green men build those? Humans can be too stupid to live. Ho freakin’ hum diddly-do.


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