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Monastery of Abu Fana

Nearby Ashmunein District stands the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Abu Fana. Its name comes from the Coptic hermit, Abu Fana who lived in the 4th Century and was known also as Saint Bane. In 1992, the excavation works in the area discovered the cemetery of Saint Abu Fana which is annexed to the church currently. There are testimonies from the 6th century about the monastery’s existence indicating that it once gave shelter to more than 1000 monks from the old monastery. Only the ancient basilica survived in part. By the passage of time the major part of the monastery was destroyed except for the historical church. The German Excavation team assumed that this monastery was established mainly on the location of one of the ancient Egyptian temples. The monastery was restored for several times for its religious and historical value such as 1993 restoration and 2002 restoration and the area surrounding it is currently declared as an archaeological site. This monastery is one of the important religious places for the Christians in Egypt that is called the Monastery of the Cross due to the large number of finely carved and decorated crosses in it.

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