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Monastery of Saint Anthony

  • 05 16, 2023

Monastery of Saint Anthony

Having forbidden his followers to approach his cave, they camped at the foot of the hill, thus forming the nucleus initial of the current Monastery of Sant'Antonio (Deir Amba Antonius), erected shortly after his death in the place where he was buried.

It is the largest monastic complex in Egypt, with numerous churches and chapels, and a large wing for housing, which however today houses about 80 monks, for the first time in over a century, the monastery expands, welcoming Coptic Christians consecrated to the life of spiritual contemplation.

Access to the monastery is via a double arch door located between two turrets surmounted by crosses. It houses several chapels and the friars' lodgings and gardens. It has the pleasant appearance of a small fortified village with sand-colored walls.

The monastery of Sant'Antonio has retained much of its original appearance, despite attacks by Bedouin tribes in the eighth century and by Muslims in the eleventh century. The oldest structure of the complex is the church of Sant 'Antonio, built on the tomb of the saint. The interior walls of the church bear lively frescoes from the 13th century, all carefully restored during the 1990s.

About two kilometers northeast of the monastery is the cave where Saint Anthony is said to have spent the last years of his life, reachable on a path that starts from the west side of the monastery and climbs over a thousand wooden steps. In the cave, there is a small chapel with an altar, adorned on the walls with numerous medieval graffiti. The view over the valley is another spectacular attraction of the trip to the cave of Sant'Antonio.

If you're planning to visit Egypt, then you should consider reviewing our detailed Egypt travel guide, as it is a very unique experience during Egypt Tours that is not comparable with any other things to do in Egypt. You can enjoy one of the Classic tours in Egypt, which all travelers would like to cruise the Nile River during Christmas tours in Egypt or while the best weather during Easter tours in Egypt. Covering most Cairo day trips, Luxor day tours in addition to Aswan excursions, is why our travel information section is meant to be useful before proceeding with Egypt's best tours for those who seek culture, history of Egypt, and luxurious accommodation while sailing the Nile Valley.


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The monastery receives its Coptic visitors daily from 04:00 am until 6:00 pm. It allows the entrance to the archaeological sanctuary is from six in the morning, immediately after the rosary.


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