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Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166631

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.001.0001

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The Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary at al-Muharraq, Mount Qusqam: Reflections of Its Monks Today

The Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary at al-Muharraq, Mount Qusqam: Reflections of Its Monks Today

Chapter:
(p.293) 26 The Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary at al-Muharraq, Mount Qusqam: Reflections of Its Monks Today
Source:
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt
Author(s):

Fr. Philoxenos al-Muharraqi

, a group of the monastery’s monks
Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.003.0026

This chapter presents a brief survey of the architecture and the contents of al-Muharraq monastery, presented as reflections of the monk-fathers of the monastery. It is considered one of the holiest places in Egypt: the site hosted the Holy Family during their flight to Egypt, and Church tradition tells us that its ancient church was dedicated by the Lord and His Apostles. The Holy Virgin Mary Church is the oldest one in the monastery and is unique in its simple structure. It cannot be categorized under the common architectural styles found in any Coptic church. It is built out of sun-dried bricks with asymmetrical walls. There are no ornamental ancient Coptic patterns, engravings, dappling, variegations, or drawings on its walls. Historical documents mention two other churches—St. John the Baptist Church and St. Takla-Haymanot Church—but today they no longer exist. The monastery buildings consist of many different architectural styles, depending on the time of their building and the needs they serve.

Keywords:   monasteries, Holy Virgin Mary, churches, monastery buildings, keeps

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