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12. Monastery of St. Simeon

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Monastery of St. Simeon

Monastery of St. Simeon, Aswan, Egypt

Monastery of St. Simeon, Aswan, Egypt

The history of the monastery of St. Simeon dates back to the 7th century, and survived long as a Christian stronghold of southern Egypt until destroyed by Saladin in 1173.
While still in use it housed 300 monks, and could in addition receive up to 100 pilgrims at a time. The monastery was surrounded by a 10 metre high wall, and doubled as a fortress. Apparently, the monastery did not return to its original use after Saladin's destruction.
The admission fee to the monastery is E12, and it is open 7.00-17.00 daily. Getting out here is usually arranged with boat from Aswan, and then usually include visits to Kitchener's Island, but it is no problem to hike across to Aga Khan Mausoleuem, from where new transport back to Aswan is easily arranged. The walk up to the monastery takes 30 minutes, and depending of the heat of the sun, hiring a camel from the quay could be a very good idea.
Monastery of St. Simeon, Aswan, Egypt

By Tore Kjeilen