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Places To Go In Akhmim

The Red Monastery And Other Unique Sites In Akhmim

The Red Monastery, located in a village, has an interesting history. The monastery was said to have been built in the 5th century by St. Bishoi, a converted robber who was a follower of St. Shenouda. Wall paintings that are as old as the 10th and 12th centuries can be found in the monastery.

Being one of the three only surviving monuments from the period in which Byzantine architecture was prevalent, the Red Monastery is a truly significant building. The other two monuments are Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Turkey (initially converted to an Ottoman Mosque and eventually a museum in 1935) and the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy.

Despite not being on the list of Egyptian tourist sites, the Egyptian Monastery is still quite renowned all over the world. The monastery has played host to thousands of tourists from all over the world as well as official envoys from countries like Britain, the Vatican, and the USA in the year 2016 only.

Unique Sites in Akhmim

Just like some of the other towns and villages we’ve considered, there were a number of variations in the spelling and pronunciation of Akhmim. The Coptics in their Sahidic tongue spelt it as either Kmin, Kmim, or Shmin. The locals on the other hand would pronounce it as Kmim or Khmin.

Right from ancient times, Akhmim had always had a lot of monasteries. This meant that a couple of notable monks lived in or around the town. Nestorius, the former prelate of Constantinople who was sent on exile spent his last years close to Akhmim. A couple of years later, Shenouda the Archimandrite (348-466) resided at Ahribis close to Akhmim.

The diocese of Panopolis (where the Greek poet, Nonnus was born towards the end of the 4th century) was listed among the Catholic Church’s titular sees. Le Quien also mentioned Arius, Saint Pachomius’ friend as one of Panapolis’ bishops, he built three convents in Sabinus, Menas, and Akhmim.

A lot of Christian texts were uncovered during archaeological diggings at Akhmim, these include some of the gospels, the book of Enoch, the acts of the council of Ephesus, Peter’s Apocalypse and many others.

Although it is mostly in ruins now, a huge temple used to be located in Akhmim during the 13th century. Also, most of the town and its temples has been destroyed over time with objects and materials stripped away from it and used in construction elsewhere during the Middle Ages. In 1981, massive images of Meritamen and Ramesses II were discovered in a damaged part of a temple that was built during the Greco-Roman regime. There are still vast tombs in Akhmim yet to be excavated