St Anthony's Monastery
The Coptic monasteries of Egypt were, and still are, strongholds of Coptic Orthodoxy and the focus of popular devotion. History records that during the papacy of Peter IV (567-69 AD), there were “…600 flourishing monasteries like beehives in their numbers.”
Following the death of the blessed desert father, St Antony the Great, a monastic community developed some time during the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), in loving memory of their beloved spiritual father. The monastic life here initially took the form of a more eremitic style, whereby the monks would live in individual cells or caves separate from each other, but under the leadership of a spiritual elder, and would come together on Saturday and Sunday for common worship, fellowship and a meal.
In time, however, the monks began to associate themselves in closer living quarters, and hence the communal or ‘coenobitic’ style of monasticism - that was characteristic mainly in Upper Egypt (pioneered by St Pachomius) - developed also on St Antony’s mountain, and this mode of monastic life is what prevails not only in St Antony’s Monastery but in all Coptic monasteries in Egypt today. hat the Monastery played an important part in the general history of the Coptic Church can be seen from the large number of Patriarchs that came from there. The leadership of St Antony’s Monastery became especially noticeable during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, during which time 12 Antonian monks ascended the patriarchal throne, and for almost 300 years they determined the history of the Coptic Church. In the 19th century (1884), the English historian Alfred Butler wrote about the remoteness of the Red Sea Monasteries and that they had scarcely been visited by a European traveller. But shortly after, a stream of curious visitors from England, Germany, France and Russia made the journey across to the Monasteries. Then in 1930, the American historian Thomas Whittemore led an expedition on behalf of the Byzantine Institute of America to the Red Sea monasteries, and his team took the first known photographs of the Monasteries. However, when the road between Suez and Ras Gharib was constructed in 1946, it provided a means of making the Red Sea Monasteries more accessible to visitors and pilgrims. A trip that once took 3-4 days on camel (up until the mid 20th century), now takes 3-4 hours by car.
In November 1991, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Coptic patriarch, ordained a monk from St Antony’s Monastery – His Grace Bishop Yostos – as bishop and abbot of St Antony’s Monastery. May the lord preserve their lives. Under his leadership and guidance, the Monastery, with a community of over 100 monks, has entered a new era of revival and expansion. The restoration, construction and expansion projects within the Monastery indicate the Monastery’s vitality. This development reflects the phenomenal growth in Egyptian monasticism over the past half century in particular, not just at St Antony’s Monastery but throughout Egypt. The increased numbers indicate a new dynamism and spiritual force. Monasticism in Egypt is growing both spiritually and physically, and thousands of pilgrims come to the Monastery each year to draw spiritual strength and nourishment from the place which St Antony the Great called home for more than 40 years of his ascetic life.  
[add listing] Sleep
There is also a guest house available and what appear to be reasonable rates.
The contact details of St Antony’s Monastery headquarters in Cairo are:
Address : 26G St Mark Church Claude Bey Cairo. Telephone : + 20 2 590 6025 Fax : + 20 2 5901500
EMAIL address is: