Monastery of Saint Anba Bishoy, Wadi El-Natrun

For the sake of organization and family posterity, I’ve decided to start posting some of our pre-blog family adventures on Fridays. Hope you enjoy my reminiscences!

In 2009, while living in Cairo, we made an excursion to the Monastery of Saint Anba Bishoy in Wadi El-Natrun. The Coptic Orthodox Christian tradition in Egypt predates Islam by centuries, dating back to the reign of the infamous Roman Emperor Nero (54-68 AD).

The monastery was founded by its namesake, Saint Anba Bishoy, who was born in the Nile Delta in 320 AD.


The architecture fits harmoniously into the desert terrain; almost like it was carved instead of constructed.

Monastery of Saint Bishoy Collage


So serene – we saw no other visitors as we explored with our guide.


Monk cell doors


My son turning the ancient grist mill.




My dad posing with past priests and my daughter snapping a pic in the refectory (common eating hall).


Our guide made the tour interesting for our kids.

Monastery of Saint Bishoy31

8 year olds must make faces.


There are five churches, a tower, guesthouse, infirmary, library, well, and monks quarters within the monastery’s defensive walls.

Monastery of Saint Anba Bishoy


Through the eyes of an Agnostic viewing Christian sites in a Muslim country 🙂

2 thoughts

    1. I’m glad you like my pictures. This was a flashback blog post, we lived in Egypt for two years but left 6 months before the revolution. I too wonder what changes have been made under the new government.

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