Frescoes of saints, martyrs and angels uncovered at Egyptian monastery

A team of restorers working at the Monastery of St Bishoy in the Wadi El-Natroun, 100 kilometres North-West of Cairo, Egypt, uncovered Medieval paintings dating back to 9th-13th century AD.

Paintings from the Monastery (by Ahram Online)

The paintings were uncovered after the modern layer of mortar was removed from the walls of the monastery’s old church. According to historical books and religious documents, the church was subjected to changes and modifications in its architecture in 840 AD, during the Abbasid era, and in 1069 AD, during the Fatimid caliphate. The frescoes depict scenes of saints and angels with Coptic religious inscriptions below. The western wall contains an image of a woman named as Refka and her five sons, who were martyred during the persecution of Christians by the Roman empire. The painting on the eastern wall depicts three saints and an archangel, and features Coptic writings below. Moreover, as the restorers removed the modern additions they stumbled upon the ambon, made of mud-brick covered with a layer of mortar and decorated with a red cross. In various parts of the church some geometric drawings, crosses and lettering were also found. The Monastery of St Bishoy is known for its five churches and a fort, as well as the tomb of the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, who died in 2012.

(after Ahram Online)

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