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Abu Mena Monastery

The oldest known church building in Africa is located in the Mariut desert, in the Governorate of Alexandria. It is now in ruins but protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO says the church, baptistry, basilicas, public buildings, streets, monasteries, houses and workshops in this early Christian city were built over the tomb of the martyr Menas of Alexandria, who died in 296. Wikipedia says the city complex and basilica as well as the monastery were sacked and destroyed in the 7th century by Arab invaders.

Paromeos Monastery

Built by St. Macarius the Great, a disciple of St. Anthony. The name Paromeos is Coptic for "the Romans," thought to refer to his two Roman disciples Sts. Maximus and Domitius, sons of the Roman Emperor Valentinian II. The monastery flourished during the Middle Ages and continues to be active.

Monastery of St. Anthony

The monastery founded by followers of St. Anthony in the Eastern Desert of Egypt in the late 4th century is the oldest monastery in the world. It was partially destroyed in the 11th century and rebuilt, and very little of the original structure remains today. Hidden deep in the Red Sea Mountains, it is located 208 miles southeast of Cairo and is open to visits. Twelve Coptic patriarchs have come from the monastery.

Monastery of St. Macarius the Great

The Monastery of St. Macarius the Great is located in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, about 57 miles northwest of Cairo, off the highway between Cairo and Alexandria. The monastery has been continuously inhabited by monks since its 4th-century founding. It maintains spiritual, academic and fraternal links with several monasteries abroad, including the Chevetogne in Belgium, which is deeply interested in ecumenism, and Solesmes in France, which revived Gregorian chant in the 20th century. Sadly, last year some of St. Macarius' monks were convicted of murdering its abbot, Bishop Epiphanius.

The Monastery of St. Pishoy

The 4th-century Monastery of St. Pishoy (also spelled Bishoy, Pshoi, or Bishoi) is in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, Egypt. It is the resting place of Pope Shenouda III, the predecessor of the current patriarch, who died in 2012.

The Monastery of St. Mary Deipara

The Monastery of St. Mary Deipara is also known as the Syrian Monastery because it was once used by Syriac monks. Located in Wadi El Natrun (the Nitrian Desert), Beheira Governorate, Egypt, it is not far from the Monastery of St. Pishoy. It is thought to have been founded in the 6th century. This was the monastery of Nazir Gayed Roufail, who would later become Pope Shenouda III.