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Deir Abu Makar

Also known as “Deir Anba Makarius Al-Akbar”, Deir Abu Makar is the oldest and most secluded of the Wadi Natrun monasteries. The monastery is named after Saint Makarius the Great, an Egyptian monk who lived in a cave and spent his days in prayer. Upon his death, his fellow hermit monks buried him in his cave and built a monastery around it. His relics lay there to this day. Later on, an imposing defensive wall was built around this fortress/monastery to protect it from Bedouin attacks. A large number of Coptic patriarchs were chosen from this monastery and all of them were buried there. Their solemn epitaphs and the beautiful icons of Deir Anba Makarius are a must-see on any Wadi Natrun visit. Modest dress is expected. Wadi Natrun is located 100 km northwest of Cairo in the Western Desert. The only way to get there is by car or by bus. West Delta Buses leave every hour from the Heliopolis station.