Saint Anthony Monastery

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Saint Anthony Monastery is the first monastery in the history of the world. Saint Anthony was the founder of monasticism and the Monastery was established by Saint Anthony’s followers. About Saint Anthony Anthony the great was the first Christian monk. Born and lived in Beni Suef. Following his parents death he moved from his village and gave away all […]

Saint Anthony Monastery is the first monastery in the history of the world. Saint Anthony was the founder of monasticism and the Monastery was established by Saint Anthony’s followers.

About Saint Anthony

Anthony the great was the first Christian monk. Born and lived in Beni Suef. Following his parents death he moved from his village and gave away all his wealth for others and starting hiking towards east. Reached a spot in the now called Galala Qeblia Moutain with a water well at the bottom of the mountain and a small cave higher up n and stationed himself in this remote area to worship Gd.

Galala Qeblia Mountain

The mountain now called “El Galala El Qeblia”. “Galala” in Arabic means “Majesty”, and “Qeblia” refers to the south of Egypt.  Also “Qebla” in Arabic means “direction” and used by current Muslims to refer to the “direction of prayer towards Mecca”.  Monks at the Monastery explain the name as: “Galala” was derived from “Ghalaya” as in the south of Egypt, Southern Egyptians pronounce the “gh” as “g” .  “Ghalaya” was a word used to refer to the small cave each individual monk spends time and uses.  Hence the name of the mountain “Galala Qeblia” meaning “Southern Caves”

Nearby Saint Paul Monastery

Saint Paul was stationed on the eastern side of Galala Qeblia mountain worshiping God. Monks at both monasteries narrate the story that Saint Paul was sick and lonely, and Saint Anthony hiked the mountains to visit him at the time before he passed away.  The distance from a birds eye view is a straight 30kms.  Plenty of hikers claim to hike this area between the mountains.  Starting from Saint Paul Monastery to Saint Anthony Monastery opposite to how Saint Anthony did it.

When to visit

Saint Anthony Monastery is open for visits all year round with limited visiting hours & days during Lent. Best time to visit re weather is from October to February.

Hours & Location

  • Open Daily from 4.00am – 4.45pm (with the exception of Lent).
  • During the Holy Lent open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 4.00am – 4.45pm.
  • The Cave of St Antony can only be visited during the Monastery’s opening hours.
  • Located not too far from Zaafarana town on the Red Sea south of famous local red sea resort Ain El Sokhna.

How to travel to Saint Anthony Monastery

There is no direct transportation, we would need to either hire a private car with driver.  There are few operators that organize daily private trips from Cairo.  More operators organize daily trips from Hurghada.

Holiday Tours operate trips from Cairo & Hurghada on a private basis. Write us if interested to book a trip to the Saint Anthony Monastery or Saint Paul Monastery or a trip to include both send us an email to tours@holidaytours.one

  • 3hrs & half drive from Cairo.
  • 3 Hours drive from Hurghada.

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