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Red Monastery


Red Monastery considered to be one of the most important monasteries built in early Christian times, it is located to the west of Sohag, about 21 km away, it was built by Anba Beshay in the early fourth century AD, and It was designed like the design of the Holy Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem, Palestine.

Red Monastery

Red Monastery

  • The monastery was built as an extension of the Abyad Monastery, which was headed by Anba Shenouda, and it is approximately 4 km away from it.
  • The Red Monastery was built on the ruins of a Pharaonic temple, it includes columns of the Pharaonic, and columns of the Roman style, as well as Coptic inscriptions.

  • It was called the Red Monastery, where red bricks were used as a basic material in its construction, as well as white limestone, some pink, and black granite columns were used.

It's importance

  • The importance of the Red Monastery is that it is one of the three remaining monuments of Byzantine architecture in the world, the other two being the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, in addition it considered to be one of the most important monasteries built in early Christian times, and it considered to be as an open museum.

Icons of  monastery 

  • The ancient red monastery contains the largest number of Coptic icons in the world, according to the classification of the UNESCO, they date back to the 7th century AD, all of the icons consists of 3 layers to protect it.
Red Monastery

  • There is Icon of the milkweed, which is rare as it is one of the eight icons in the world, and some icons depict a group of Israel’s prophets, pictures representing the popes of the church during the construction period, icons representing verses from the Bible and stories from the Christian faith, such as Christ on the Throne and the Nursing Virgin, note that all the roofs, and walls of the monastery are covered with drawings that illustrate the greatness of Coptic art at that time.

Red Monastery

Main church

  • The monastery has a three-arched church structure, which is one of its most important features, which is adorned with arched gables, which is the same style as the temple of Baalbek in Lebanon, it consists of the main archaeological church, and the palace of Empress Helena, which was the mother of the king "Constantine", she built it when she knew that the monks gathered in this area, in addition to the archaeological sanctuary around the church, the Coptic tombs, and the monastery farms, it had an archaeological well, which was established at the time of the monastery's establishment.

Red Monastery

Fortress 

  • The monastery was originally built in the deserts far from the cities, where the monks founded it, to survive away from the Roman persecution, which began in the era of Diocletian, the presence of the monastery in the desert could have exposed, to the attack of the nomads, so they created a fortress inside the monastery, to protect them from the attack of the nomads, and to take shelter in it.

  • Unfortunately the monastery was burned twice, first during the Roman rule, and the second by the Berbers, while the restoration works began on the monastery in 2003, at a cost of $30 million, in 2012, the monastery was placed on the World Heritage List, and it was the first Egyptian archaeological site to enter the list.

Red Monastery

Column crown take the form of grape leaves and the face of an eagle.

  • "Visit Egypt from home" is a slogan raised by the Ministry of Tourism in its campaign to organize virtual visits to archaeological sites with a 360-degree imaging technology on social media, in light of the spread of precautionary measures this period, after the spread of the Corona virus in many countries of the world.

#StayHome, #StaySafe#ExperienceEgyptFromHome

References 

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baalbek
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena,_mother_of_Constantine_I
  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletian

 

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Asmaa Ahmed

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