Egypt’s 5 Most Beautiful Coptic Monasteries. Modern Egypt is well-known for being a Muslim country, yet many people have no idea that ancient Egypt was the birthplace of one of the world’s earliest Christian sects. According to the New Testament, Egypt served as a safe haven for the Holy Family when they escaped Jerusalem and King Herold on the “Flight into Egypt”.
Egypt has numerous stunning Christian monasteries, some of which date back to the fourth century, including:
The Most Beautiful Coptic Monasteries in Egypt:
- The Red Monastery
The Red Monastery is located 21 kilometres west of the city of Sohag. It is regarded as one of the most significant monasteries founded throughout the early history of Christianity.It is known as the Red Monastery because of the red bricks that make up the majority of its construction.
Saint Bishoy built the monastery in the early fourth century AD, but it was destroyed by two fires, the first during the Roman period and the second as a consequence of Berber invasions. All that remains of the Red Monastery is its church and surrounding fortification walls to the south
The Red Monastery, considered one of Egypt’s most significant and beautiful monasteries, is located near the White Monastery, which was established at the same period and is also worth a visit.
- The Cave Church (St. Simon the Tanner Monastery)
This incredible cave church is unlike anything else in Egypt.The cave church was erected by the Zabbaleen community and is now not just a religious site but also an educational center, kindergarten, and school for the deaf.
The main monastery hall, carved into the Moqattam Hills, can house over 20,000 people and was named for Coptic Saint Simon, who moved the Moqattam mountain in 979 AD as testimony of the power of his convictions.
- St. Catherine’s Monastery
One of the world’s oldest surviving monasteries is located on the slopes of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Its real name is the “Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai,” although it is most often known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery. It was erected in 548–565 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to shelter the monks who had been living in the Sinai Peninsula at that time.
The monastery is made up of several buildings, the most prominent of which is the Church of the Transfiguration of Christ the Savior, which is made up of nine smaller churches. It also contains the Church of the Burning Bush, from whence God spoke to the prophet Moses, one of these. Saint Catherine’s Monastery also has ten additional churches, monks’ quarters, a refectory, an olive press, ossuaries, a Fatimid mosque, and a library with rare volumes and 6,000 manuscripts.
The Monastery of St. Paul the Anchorite
The Monastery of St. Paul is an extremely important location in Egypt’s long and varied history, and it is the second ancient Coptic Christian monastery nestled away in the Eastern Desert, after The Monastery of Saint Anthony.
The Monastery of St Paul the Anchorite, commonly known as the Monastery of the Tigers, is a Coptic Orthodox monastery founded in the fourth century CE in Egypt’s Eastern Desert near the Red Sea Mountains.The monastery earned the title “Monastery of the Tigers” due to its remote position in Egypt’s desert moonscape, around 155 kilometres south of Cairo.
- St. Anthony’s Monastery
St. Anthony’s Monastery is the world’s oldest inhabited Christian monastery, and it contains paintings from the 7th and 8th centuries, as well as 1,700 antique papers.
St. Anthony was a well-known member of the “Desert Fathers,” a group of Christian monks who lived in the Eastern Egyptian desert in the third century.
He was wandering across the desert until he came to an oasis covered by trees, and it was here that he was buried and his monastery was established a few years later.