Visiting The Monasteries at Wadi El Natrun in Egypt.
Touring Guide for a Day Trip from Cairo in Northern Egypt to the several Coptic Monasteries at Wadi El Natrun.
There are still four Coptic Orthodox monasteries located close to the town of Wadi El Natrun although years ago there were probably at least 70 in the area. The town is around 120kms from Downtown Cairo out on the Alexandria Desert Road in the Nitrian Desert - the turn off is at Bir Hooker. The
only practical way to visit these monasteries is to hire a car and driver for the day - if you use the "hotel" travel desk they will probably vastly
overcharge for this day trip so it's worth asking around outside of your hotel or even at one or two local shops - usually someone will know somebody who would
like the business. We got our car and driver for LE 500 and found him by asking at one of the shops close to the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Cairo.
Although there are four monasteries in the area it is only possible to visit three of them (see below) - to visit Deir Abu Magan you are required to have prior written permission. From a practical point
of view their are public toilets at Deir el-Baramus but they are disgusting - however those at Deir Anba Bishoi are ok. Very light snacks and a drink are
also available at Deir Anba Bishoi however a donation for such should be given - and at the parking area by Deir al-Suryani you will find a shop where fruit and
drinks can be purchased. These monasteries were built with protection in mind i.e. they have an extremely "fortress" look to them.
Deir el-Baramus Monastery in Egypt.
This monastery is open daily 09 to 18h in the summer and 09 to 17h in the winter - admission is free however there are various donation boxes around. The monastery is set in lovely gardens both inside the walls and also all around the
outside and is the oldest of the four monasterys in the area as it was founded in 340ad by Saint Makarius.
Visiting Deir Anba Bishoi Monastery in Northern Egypt: We liked looking round this beautiful monastery most of all - probably because of our constant fascination with domed churches - and with five located here there are plenty of them to look at. Opening hours are 07 to 20h in the summer and 07 to 18h during the winter months - entrance is of course free.
You can have a guided tour by one of the resident monks if you wish - there is plenty to see although some areas are locked and a guide will unlock them - or you can just wander around on your own. Founded by Saint Bishoi this is the largest of the four monasteries at Wadi al Natrun.
Deir al-Suryani Guide and Photos - Egypt. This Egyptian monastery - which was founded around 980 by monks who had left Deir Aba
Bishoi - is actually very close to Deir Anba Bishoi and is surrounded by green fields. Entrance is of course free of charge and the monastery is open daily but times vary somewhat - it is always open until at least 17h apart from Saturdays when it closes at 15h during the winter.
- These are some of our items about Egypt which may be of interest:
- Cairo Travel, Holiday, Sightseeing and Photos Guide
- Generally visiting Cairo, the airport, taxis, getting around and sightseeing, staying alive on the roads, eating in Cairo.
- Aswan Touring and Holiday Guide and Photos
- Visiting The southern Nile City of Aswan in Egypt - travelling to Aswan, hotels, restaurants, markets, things to do.
- Luxor Egypt Holiday and Sightseeing Guide and Photos
- Luxor is the starting point to see some of the world's most amazing archaeological sites and lots to see.
- Egypt touring and travel guides and Photos Our Home Page - shows all of our topics about Egypt.
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