Two monasteries near Sauhaj (Sohag) perhaps they are inferior to Muharraa in size and number of pilgrims, but they cultivate the most ancient tradition of their founders. They are related to St.. Szenuda, great priest and reformer of the Coptic Church. To get here, best to hire a taxi.
The name of the White Monastery of St.. Archimandrite chenudas (Dajr Amba Szenuda, Ad-Deir al-Abyad), away by 4,5 km od Sauhadżu, comes from the white limestone walls resembling the pylons of the temple of the pharaohs. The complex was funded by St.. Pigol (What is Pjol), uncle Szenuda.
There were kitchens and houses for monks. In the Middle Ages, a second church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was erected over the watchtower. When St.. Szenuda, the monastery was rich. It operated until the mid-11th century., when the Copts were taxed high and brought to ruin, and many meetings were dissolved. W XI and XII w. monks from Armenia lived there. W XIII w. rose from the fall. The facility was partially restored under Muhammad Ali in the early 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th century. European researchers began to study its history.
Only the church of St.. Szenuda, in front of which there is a courtyard.
This building in the style of a basilica from the 5th century. has six entrances. The columns divide the interior into three aisles. The inner red brick wall, erected in the Middle Ages, surrounds the original part of the temple: choir and sanctuary with three huge apses.
There is a painting on the central dome of Christ Pantocrator and four evangelists. The Dormition of the Virgin is shown on the dome of the northern apse, and in the south, Mary with two angels. The church was built from fragments of ancient Egyptian temples, and the marble and granite columns come from Roman buildings.
It used to house Egypt's largest Coptic library. Today, most of the monuments are kept by various museums of the world.
Another important stop for Egyptian Copts during the pilgrimage is the Red Monastery (Deir Amba Bishoi, Dayr amba, Bishay, Deir el-Ahmar), situated in a small village (ok. 6 km from the White Monastery and almost 13 km od Sauhadżu) in an inconspicuous alley by the cemetery. It was built by St.. Biszos (in Coptic Pshoi), thief, who has converted. He also erected two other monasteries in Wadi Natrun.
From a grand premise, probably from the 5th century, there was hardly anything left but the church. Its name comes from the red bricks of the outer walls, it was also used to distinguish the building from the White Monastery. In the Life of St.. Szenuda is called Psoou. Today only a few monks live here, but the church is open.