The Monastery of El Suryan | Cairo Attractions
t is located about 1640 feet northwest of Deir Anba Beshoy. Who built it? It was also built by St. Beshoy in the sixth century, though some might date it later. Why was it built? It was built to be dedicated to Virgin Mary. Explanation: It has an interesting cave where St. Beshoy is said to have prayed with his hair tied with a chain to the roof to prevent him from sleeping. The monastery was acquired by Syrian monks at some time, this is why it gained its modern name "Al-Suryan" which means (the Syrians). The name is shortened from the monastery's long name: "Monastery of Saint Mary the Virgin the Lady of the Syrians." The monastery was destroyed by Berbers in 817 AD. Afterwards in 850, it was rebuilt by the two monks, Matthew and Abraham. After having traveled to Baghdad to ask the caliph al-Muqtadir bi'llah to grant tax exemption to the monasteries.
Only two Coptic patriarchs came from the Monastery of the Syrians. They were Gabriel VII and the modern Pope, Shenouda III. Both patriarchs shared a common interest in restoring and repopulating abandoned monasteries.
The monastery consists of the enclosure wall, the tower, The Church of the Holy Virgin, the Church of St. Honnos and Marutha, the Church of St. John the Little, The Refectory, a rich library with hundreds of manuscripts and a museum.
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