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1. The Red Monastery

2. Akhmim

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The White Monastery

Sohag, Egypt

Sohag, Egypt

Sohag, Egypt

Out from the rather sad city of Sohag, lies a few interesting, yet modest, monasteries. Their names, the "Red" and the "White" are effective in creating visitors' interests.
The monasteries can be a slight disappointment to many, being quite small, and still for some time, they are undergoing restoration.
At its height, the White Monastery had as many as 2000 monks, today there are only 4 left.
Its protective walls, more than resembling those of a fortress, still stand. But much of the inner structures are now in ruins. What may well look like the courtyard, is the main room of the church now without its roof. Only 19 columns, originally from a temple, stand. Its original size was 75 metres by 35 metres. The most central parts of the church have survived, with a nice room of icons and sacred objects.
This monastery was built around 400 by St. Shenouda. It took many stones from an ancient Egyptian temple that was built in white limestone.
The monasteries are open 9.00-20.00, no entrance fee. About 4 km southeast of the White Monastery, is the Red Monastery.
Sohag, Egypt

By Tore Kjeilen