Ancient Monasteries

The St Paul and St Anthony Monasteries, located near Sukhna, are both considered jewels of Christian heritage with well-preserved art and architectural motifs.

The sublime Monastery of St Paul the Anchorite is tucked in the secluded desert wilderness, hence its moniker, Monastery of the Tigers. Founded in the 4th century, the monastery was constructed over the cave where Paul, an Egyptian saint, spent more than 80 years of his life. Its complex architecture—with three different churches, a refectory, gardens, and an elaborately painted cupola—St Paul’s is a must-see for the monasticism enthusiast.

The St Anthony Monastery, named after the desert monk who is considered to be the one of the fathers of modern Christian monasticism, presents shining examples of Christian wall paintings featuring holy figures. The complex comprises at least five churches and the cave in which Anthony, the hermit, took refuge. The monastery’s paintings have undergone a restoration that has revived them to their ancient glory. The beloved monastery continues to attract pilgrims, visitors, and monks alike.