Monastery of Anba Paula (Saint Paul the Anchorite Monastery)
Monastery of Anba Paula is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in the Eastern Desert, near the Red Sea Mountains, about 155 km south-east of Cairo. Dating back to the 5th century, it was founded over the cave where Saint Paul the Anchorite lived. According to the Coptic tradition, when young, Saint Paul fled to the Theban desert during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus (in c. 250). He lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree. Dates were his only source of food until he reached 43 years old. At this age, a raven started to bring him half loaf of bread daily. After spending his life in this cave, he died at the age of 113 years. Surrounded by high walls of the 18th century, within its compound, the monastery comprises 3 churches, a tower, a mill, 2 springs and a library. However, like other monasteries, this one suffered a great deal of damages caused by the Bedouin's attacks and was repeatedly rebuilt.