Erlebnis Ägypten

Egypt experience

Osama Samir


Author: Melanie

The monasteries of St. Paul and St. Anthony (251-356) are located about 330 km southeast of Cairo, about 2.5 hours by car from Hurghada, embedded in a breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscape. In the two oldest coptic-orthodox monasteries of the world you will also find mills and bakeries, which enable the monks there to live a self-sufficient life. There are also many churches within each monastery. Even if you cannot identify with the faith, you will hardly be able to escape the atmosphere of the monasteries and the charm of the landscape.

Excursion description

Our driver will pick you up at the agreed time at your booked hotel on the Red Sea. We start at the monastery of St. Anthony. On site one of the wise monks will welcome you and guide you through the monastery. Here you will get many impressions. More than 1600 years ago this was the home of the hermit Antony. He lived here from the age of 19 until his death at the age of 105, isolated from any social contact. St. Anthony spent his life inside a mountain in a cave about 680 meters above sea level. A steep staircase with 1,158 steps leads up there and offers a breathtaking view over the mountains and the desert to the sea. To master the ascent into the grotto of St. Anthony you should plan 2 hours and be in good health. However, your effort will be rewarded because here you can admire his writings and drawings and the already mentioned beautiful view. The Antoniuskirche, the sacral core of the monastery, was built in the 6th century. However, most parts of the building, including the important frescos, date from the 10th century. Here you can set your own pace and let everything take its course. Enjoy your day and let the monk show you the complex. You can also observe that the monks like to pass on their blessings to believers and sometimes the children even get sweets here. The monks are proud of their life here on site. A place with a breathtaking view, the old mill wheel and the food table are just a few of the interesting places you will be shown. Afterwards our driver will take you about 50 km further away to the monastery of St. Paulus. St. Paulus of Thebes (228-343), the eponym of this monastery was also a hermit like St. Anthony and was born in Alexandria as the son of wealthy parents. After he had fought with his brother over the inheritance, St. Paul retired to solitude around the year 280 and lived from then on as a hermit. According to the story he first prayed and fasted for 3 days at a grave near his hometown. Afterwards he went on to the desert cave near the Red Sea. He is said to have been dressed only in a tunic made of palm leaves. This can be admired very nicely in the monastery garden, since the two saints St. Paul and St. Anthony were re-enacted here. St. Paul lived here for 80 years and is said to have eaten only half a loaf of bread every day, which was brought to him by a raven. The Coptic icons show St. Paul as an old man in sackcloth and at his feet are two lions, above his head a raven. Why the lions? Let our monk take you on an interesting journey and immerse you in the old stories. The monk will give you all kinds of knowledge about the monastery, such as the history of the eponym, the importance of the lions and what is special about the entrance gate. You will also have the opportunity to visit the crypt located under the monastery. The journey alone through the wonderful mountain landscape to the monastery is worth a visit.

To round off the excursion, you will have the typical lunch for monks in one of the two monasteries, consisting of lentils, beans, bread and Egyptian tea.

Included services:

  • Private driver
  • Visit to the monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul
  • Guided tour by one of the monks on site
  • Lunch in one of the monasteries

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