Al Matariyah Travel Guide

  • the balsam was destroyed in 16th c. Now a sycamore
    the balsam was destroyed in 16th c. Now...
    by halikowski
  • Matarea then
    Matarea then
    by halikowski
  • View prior to
    View prior to "preservation"
    by bdougherty

Al Matariyah Things to Do

  • The Holy Family fresco

    Near the Virgin Mary's Tree, on the right side of the road, is a small chapel. The wooden doors are not isolating the inside and even if these are closed you can still admire the fresco presenting the Holy Family resting under the tree.Beside this there are some other interesting representations in this fresco: the Pillar of Senusret, Gabal...

  • View of a mosque

    These are one of my favorite pictures from Al Matariyah.I love the image of this minaret seen from Mary's tree, above the small buildings around the place.

  • Religious exhibition

    Behind the small chapel with the Holy Family fresco is a one-room building housing a religious exhibition.This exhibition is displaying pictures of the most important Christian sites in Egypt, maps and ancient objects found on those places.

  • Virgin Mary's tree

    The so-called "Mary's Tree" is located in the center of the site. From the entrance it is impossible to see it, but once you pass the Jesus well it draws your entire attention.It is said that the Holy Family found shade under a sycamore tree in Al Matariyah. After bathing Jesus and washing His clothes, Virgin Mary poured the washing water on the...

  • Jesus well

    The Jesus well is located on the left side of the road leading to Mary's tree.It is said that the Infant Jesus caused water to flow from a spring.After that, He drank this water and blessed it.

  • Virgin Mary statue

    The statue presenting the Virgin Mary is placed in a small niche on the wall just near the entrance to the site.This is in fact the first thing that attracts your attention when entering Al Matariyah.

  • The Holy Family representation

    I particularly liked the upper part of the wall surrounding Al Matariyah site.Made of wrought iron, this is a wonderful representation of the Holy Family.What I have noticed in Egypt, especially when you visit the Christian sites, is that there are a lot of representations of the Holy Family: frescos, paintings, sculptures and even fences as we...

  • Al Matariyah

    The impression that I have now thinking back to my visit to Al Matariyah is that is a poor place. The houses looked even poorer than in other parts of Cairo.But just entering Al Matariyah site you seem to enter into another world. Although a quite narrow place, everything there is well organized and there is a lot of vegetation.Another remarkable...

  • Arriving in Al Matariyah

    Al Matariyah is about 10 km away from Cairo and can be easily reached by buses and subway.As we were an organized group accompanied by an Egyptian tour guide it was pretty easy to do the visit although at a certain moment on our way to Al Matariyah a police patrol joined us. We've been told that, as we were going to visit a Christian site located...


Al Matariyah Warnings and Dangers

  • heed the warnings of 5th century...

    EPILOGUE (cf. VIII. 151)The dangers of journeying to the desertsIn many other parts of Egypt we came across holy men of God of great virtue doing marvellous things, totally filled with the grace of God. We have only mentioned a few of them. To describe them all would be beyond our powers.We learned only by hearsay of those who are said to live in...

  • Police surveillance

    Although quite discreet, this police patrol joined our bus on our way to Belbeis and accompanied us from there to Mostorod and Al Matariyah.We had no problem, but we've been told that this is a mandatory protections measure for tourist visiting the Christian sites located in particular Muslim areas.

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Al Matariyah Off The Beaten Path

  • Holy Family representations

    Numerous representations of the Holy Family journey in Egypt can be found all over the place.The first one is presenting the Holy Family in Al Matariyah taking water from the Jesus well, while the others are presenting the Holy Family during the journey in Egypt.

  • St. George fresco

    This colorful mosaic presenting St. George killing the dragon is located on the left wall in Al Matariyah shortly after passing the Mary's tree.

  • Trees, flowers, cactuses

    I've been pretty impressed about the rich vegetation inside Al Matariyah site. Interesting trees in full blossom, colorful flowers, green cactuses...It was quite contrasting to the lack of vegetation around the site.


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