Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries

St Catherine’s, St Anthony’s, St Paul’s and St Simeon’s

The Christian Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries in Egypt are sadly often overlooked, as visitors focus on the ancient sites around Luxor and Aswan, But Christianity began in this region of the world, and while the Romans persecuted, and made martyrs of the early followers, Egypt’s mountain provided them with safety and sanctuary.

Asceticism, the practice of relinquishing one’s worldly goods and giving your self over to remote spiritual practice began in Egypt, and some of the country’s mightiest monasteries were dedicated to pioneering practitioners.

Monasticism, the organised offspring of asceticism also began Egypt and Syria as a result.

The neglect of the general tourist population to visit these sites means that for those that make the effort, the sites are usually relatively peaceful and being Monasteries, they’re also free!

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries

St Catherine’s Monastery

St Catherine’s monastery is one of the few Christian sites on the tourist map. Located in Sinai, at the foot of the mountain with the same name, this region is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

Most visitors also climb the mountain, trudging their way along the sandy track through night and reaching the summit to watch sunrise illuminate the mountainous desert terrain and the monastery below.

This was of course the mount on which Moses was summoned to receive the Ten Commandments for all of mankind. Located just a few hours from Sharm El Sheikh.

Read more about St Catherine’s Monastery

St Anthony’s Monastery

Located in Eastern desert, some 50km from the red sea coast, St Anthony’s Monastery is the largest and oldest Coptic monastery in Egypt.

Just a short distance away in Beni Suef in AD250, St Anthony was born to a wealthy family.

When he was young his parents died and left him guardian to a little sister.

He chose to follow the words of Christ at age 34 and dedicated his life to asceticism.

He distributed his wealth and assets to the poor and retreated to the desert where he adopted a hermit’s life.

Read more about visiting St Anthony’s Monastery

St Paul’s Monastery

Located in the Eastern desert, St Paul’s Monastery is situated a little way off the main road linking Hurghada to Suez.

The monastery takes the name of St Paul of Thebe, Egypt’s youngest known hermit who is buried here (just 16), not be confused with St Paul the apostle. St Paul was also born into a wealthy family but lost his parents at a young age.

He fled to the desert fearing persecution in Alexandria. The site is smaller and less impressive then St Anthony’s

Read more about visiting St Paul’s Monastery

St Simeon’s Monastery

St Simeon’s monastery is the most easily accessible located just across the river in Aswan from the main strip. Like many of the monasteries built at the time, the complex was built like a fortress to protect from marauding Bedouin tribes.

St Simeon was a stylite and perhaps the most intriguing of those mentioned here, famous for enduring 40 years standing on a single column as a spiritual practice.

The monastery visit is easily combined with a trip to the tombs of the nobles.

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries





Coptic churches of Cairo

Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Egypt Monasteries

The Monastery of St. Simon (Simeon) the Tanner

Saint Menas (Mar Mina)

The Church of the Virgin Mary

The Monastery of Apollo at Bawit (deserted)

Monastery of St. Mary (Deir Dronka)

The Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary (Muharraq Monastery)

The Monastery at Qubbat Al-Hawa

St. Simeon Monastery – Monastery of Anba Hatre (Uninhabited)

El Minya
Dair al-Adhra, The Church of the Holy Virgin

The Monastery of Apa Bane Deir Abu Fana, or the Monastery of the Cross

Christian Oxyrhynchus (modern al-Bahnasa)

The Monastery of Jeremiah (Uninhabited)

The Sinai
St Catherine’s Monastery

The Red Sea area
St. Antony’s Monastery (Deir Mar Antonios

The Monastery of St. Paul – Eastern Desert

The White Monastery – St. Shenouda the Archimandrite

The Red Monastery – Deir al-Ahmar, Deir Anba Bishoi or Bishai

Wadi Al Natrum
The Monastery of al-Baramus (Deir al-Baramus, Monastery of the Romans)

Deir Al Anba Bishoy (Monastery of St. Bishoy or Bishoi or Pishoi)

The Monastery of the Syrians (Deir al-Surian)

The Monastery of St. Macarius (Deir Abu Magar)

Tour Egypt have an interesting site here on Ancient Christian Churches of Egypt.

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