coptic monastery, Alexandria
At the monastery of Bishoy (Deir Anba Bishoi)
a coptic monk showed us the place and explained us the history of the Coptic Christians in Wadi Atrun.
After the Romans in the 4th century AD came the destructive raids of the Arabs in 871 AD
The originally unprotected communities were fortified afterwards.
The monasticism is experiencing a revival, with younger Copts to live within the walls of the ancient monasteries in the desert.
Deir Anba Bishoi is founded by St Bishoi.
Deir Anab Bishoi contains the body of the saint Bishoi and also the remains of Paul of Tamweh. The story tells, he committed suicide seven times.
Except the churh the monastery has within its walls cells for the monks, a kitchen, bakery, dining hall and a lot of store rooms.
The mud architecture of the white buildings with organic sculptural forms is lovely.
In Wadi Natrun in the desert in the past thousands of Christians retreated to escape the Roman persecution in the 4th century AD. They lived in caves, built monasteries and developed the monastic traditions.
Of the 60 monasteries scattered over the valley nowadays only four remained.
Except the newly built church many of the buildings around have the organic mud architecture.
On the way from Cairo to Alexandria is Wadi Natrun, a cultivated valley connected to the Coptic Church.
In the valley are several Coptic Monasteries.
The central point of the monasteries was the church. Around the churchs the Copts built other buildings like a dininghall, store rooms, cells for the monks.
We visited the Monastery of Bishoi (Deir Anba Bishoi).
During our visit is an Easter mass in the church. A lot of people walked with a Palm Sunday palm. It looks like a scene of the bible.