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Monastery of St. Anthony Monastery of St. Anthony
Photo courtesy of
Egyptian Tourism Authority

The monastery is 50 km (31 miles) off Suez-Hurghada road from Za'farana junction. It is dedicated to Saint Anthony, the founder of Christian monasticism. St.

Anthony was born in the 3rd century AD of a wealthy family. Following Christ's teachings, he decided to devote himself to God, leaving all his mundane possessions.

Saint Anthony set for his followers the monastic life. Seeking solitude, he took himself to a cave in the mountain -away from his followers- where he lived an ascetic life till his death at the age of 105.

After Saint Anthony's death his followers built the monastery and a chapel for him, and centuries after centuries the monastery started to develop. Fortifications were made to protect monks from raiding barbaric Bedouins until few centuries ago. Despite that, many monks martyred, and slaughter was the first cause of death for many of them.

Today the monastery is the largest in Egypt and is considered one of the oldest. The compound has chapels, bakeries, farms, and mills in addition to monks' cell and guest dormitories. The church of St. Anthony is the oldest part of the monastery and it was built over the saint's tomb. Monks would happily offer you help and guide in the monastery.

You can climb up a close mountain to reach the cave where St. Anthony lived. The ascent takes about 30 minutes and you'd better start early in the morning to avoid the burning sun.

The monastery offers a guest-house for visitors, men and women.

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