In this room of the church lies the incorrupted body of St. Pishoy. People are praying, singing and touching it for whatever personal reasons. Prayer for the dead perhaps or religious beliefs.
So I touched it too --- though I don't have much reason, I guess it feels good touching a person of history.
Displaying old artefacts, the long refectory that was shown to us by Fr. Joakim was impressive. It has 5 domes, some have holes that allows natural light to come in which I mistook for round fluorescents. There's a very long platform that anciently serves as table for the monk's agape in the olden times.
Fr. Joakim, the friendly monk at the monastery who gave us an unforgettable tour of the monastery let us see the ancient millhouse and we all take our turn trying the interesting old mill equipment there. It looks like it's good to work, but it just remain as an artefact now.
The well of the martyrs is a well found in the 'Monastery of Al Anba Bishoy'. It refers to a fact that had happened in another monastery, Macarius monastery... 49 monks were killed there - and the killers, members of a Berber tribe, came to this well to wash their swords. The picture, as you can see, is that of the well.
The Church of the Holy Virgin is the most important church in the Monastery of the Syrians. It's a rectangular church covered with the most amazing frescos one could imagine. most are incredibly well-preserved, too.
There is a fresco of the three patriarchs(Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) enthroned in paradise, and one about the Ascension of Christ, with the sun and the moon: because Syrian monks founded this monastery, many of these frescos are not labelled in Arabic but in Aramaic.
What else? Don't miss te huge wooden portal diving the nave of the church: really massive! And the hole-in-the-wall where Saint Bishoi Spent years and yeears in prayers and fast, eating (apparently) only one cabbage leave on Sunday.
The qasr of Saint Macarius is quite interesting: it is a three story building accessed by a drawbridge which - like in the other monasteries - is located on the first floor.
On the ground floor there are the mills and well, and the store-rooms. On the first floor there is a Chapel dedicated to the Virgin and three 13th century sanctuaries.
On the second floor there are three churches:
the Church of the Angel Michael, the Church of St. Anthony, Paul and Pachomius, and the Church of the Travelers .
I'm not sure what there is on the third floor, as we wre not given permission to go there (and we forgot to ask).
The Church of the Elders is a little church/chapel inside the Monastery of Saint Macarius. This is one of the most sacred places of the Monastery, as it is the burial ground of the 49 martyr monks that were killed by the Berbers in the past. The swords used to cut their throats were then brought to the Monastery of Saint Bishoi and washed in the Martyr's well.
The interior, as you can see from the picture, is very dark and essential: there's a wrought-iron cross, an old carpet, and very little else.
The Qasr is a tall-looking building right by the Monastery's entrance. It's free standing and connected top the rest of the monastery by a drawbridge: this is the fortress in which the monks used to hide during the Berbers' invasions. Inside the fortress there was always a church; in this case the church of Michael the Archaengel.
The Church of St. John the Baptist is located inside the Monastery of al-Baramus: it's a recently-built church dating back to the 19th century. The church sits on top of an old church, the church of the Saints Apollo and Abib - of which no remains can be seen. There's one wonderful thing to visit inside this church, though: a beautiful ephiphany tank in ivory. Inside the church it was really dark, so no picture came out: you're left with the two bell towers.
The church of St. Pishoy is the main church of the monastery which houses the incorrupted remain of the St. Pishoy, and relics of St. Paul of Tammah.