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Monastery of St. Simon (Deir Anba Sam'an) Monastery of St. Simon (Deir Anba Sam'an)
Photo courtesy of Egyptian Tourism Authority

The monastery was built in the 6th century and monks abandoned it later, probably after 7 centuries, because of cruel barbaric attacks. Although abandoned, it is in a good state of preservation and secluded in the deserts of Aswan.

The monastery has massive walls and is built in two levels: the lower level is built of stone while the upper one of mud bricks. It has a keep that was supposed to harbor the monks at the time of attacks.

The monastery looks like a fortress rather than a religious compound. Buildings inside follow the typical composition of Coptic monasteries: a church, storeroom, kitchens, bakeries and dormitories.

The monastery is reached by a donkey or horse ride from the Qubbet Al-Hawa or through a route from Agha Khan mausoleum.

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