St. Anthony’s Monastery (Deir Mar Antonios), is one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in Egypt, dating back to the 4th century AD. In 2002, the Egyptian government began an eight-year restoration project to renovate the main surrounding wall of the monastery, the two main churches, the monks’ living and working quarters and a defensive tower. A modern sewage system was also added to improve the monastery overall.
Today, the modern monastery resembles a self-contained village; it has its own mill, a bakery, a large garden, as well as various churches and chapels. Inside the monastery, holidaymakers can find many beautifully restored paintings on the walls and an immersive library, with over 1,700 handwritten manuscripts.
If you climb the 1200 steps up to St. Anthony’s cave, you can see the original cell that was once his home. Look outside and marvel at the view over the mountains and the expansive and serene desert.