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Convent of the Holy Virgin

Assyut, Egypt

Assyut, Egypt

The Convent of the Holy Virgin is 12 km out of from the centre of Assyut, located to caves in the hill looking over the fertile fields of the western bank of the Nile.
In caves that penetrate the hills for quite some depth, several holy spots allow veneration. These remember the stories of the Holy Family seeking refuge here during their time in Egypt, there is a closed cave in which Virgin Mary slept.
The caves are manmade, a result of quarrying during Roman times. The monastery is built on the outside of the hills. It is apparently the largest monastery of Egypt, although only about 50 nuns and monks live here permanently. From August 7 to 22 every year there is a festival here, in remembrance of the Virgin. As many as 50,000 attend at one time.
It is possible to sleep in a rest house right in front of the complex. The cost is only a few Egyptian pounds, but there is no food available.
Assyut, Egypt

By Tore Kjeilen