Hurghada Historical Sites

Egypt has a fascinating past. Share your knowledge or ask your questions here.

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Spike
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Hurghada Historical Sites

Post by Spike »

A climb up Anfish Mountain is a good start to every visit to Hurghada. Many of the most significant landmarks and monuments in the Hurghada region are located in the desert an hour or two away by car and make for great daytrips. Most of these landmarks are remnants from the Roman period and are unique and fascinating to tour.

Amongst the most important historical landmarks in Hurghada, the Monastery of St. Anthony and Monastery of St. Paul stand out, while the Mons Claudianus is known for being the largest and best-preserved Roman site in the Eastern Desert. Here are Hurghada's best landmarks and monuments.

Anfish Mountain - Hurghada, Egypt, EG
Strangely enough, Anfish Mountain is invisible from almost anywhere you stand in town, but once you scale its peak you can see everything! It is the ideal spot to get a full view over town, even if it also makes you realise just how badly Hurghada has been planned. However, you will also enjoy outstanding views over the mountains in the eastern desert and the outlying islands in the Red Sea.

Monastery of St. Anthony - Hurghada, Egypt, EG
This important Hurghada monastery, named after the father of Christian monasticism, was built 2 km / 1 mile south of the cave where St. Anthony holed up to lead a secluded ascetic life. Today, about 70 monks live in the Coptic monastery and overnight stays can be arranged at their guesthouse in advance. The ancient church where St. Anthony is buried is the main attraction here, featuring recently restored and remarkable wall paintings of diverse periods and styles. The library contains a wealth of antique handwritten manuscripts, while the saint's cave is located 680 meters / 2,230 feet above sea level and houses some fascinating writings and drawings in addition to impressive views of Hurghada's mountains, the Red Sea and the valley below.

Monastery of St. Paul - Hurghada, Egypt, EG
St. Paul was a contemporary of St. Anthony and is considered Christianity's first ascetic hermit. One of the monastery's three churches, which were built in and around the cave where he once lived, contains his remains. Although this Coptic monastery is much smaller than that of nearby St. Anthony, visitors to Hurghada are welcome to stay a few nights. Attractions include freshwater springs, vibrant wall paintings, altars with candles and ostrich eggs that represent the Resurrection. The monastery also contains numerous significant old and illustrated manuscripts.

Mons Claudianus - Hurghada, Egypt, EG
The vast Roman site and important landmark is named after Mons Claudianus, who was once a provider of grey granite for the Roman Empire. One thousand quarrymen and Roman soldiers were stationed in this part of Hurghada for over two centuries. Superb objects can still be seen today in the Pantheon, Hadrian's Villa and in the unfinished Temple of Venus. Other sights include the fortress, dwellings, workshops, stables, baths, broken granite columns and slabs.

Mons Porphyrites - Hurghada, Egypt, EG
Another important Roman quarry complex in the heart of the Eastern desert, Mons Porphyrites yielded Imperial Porphyry, a superb purple rock found nowhere else in the world. Much of this gem-like rock was made into pillars, basins, statues and sarcophagi for the glory of Rome and Istanbul. You can explore the remnants of fortress ruins, dwellings, temples, wells, shrines, broken pillars and cracked stone baths.


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BBLUX
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Post by BBLUX »

It would be useful to have some first hand reports on these sites and some pictures to enhance them. A little project for a Hurghada resident over the next few months perhaps.
Surely you all cannot be working or diving 100% of the time ;) :)
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Post by FABlux »

Can you drive yourself to the sites or do you need a 4 wheel drive? We will have a Terios, so mini 4 wheel drive, but would not want to go off road in it.
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Post by BBLUX »

Who wouldn't ;)) :yy
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Spike
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Post by Spike »

Hey,

All these sites are in driving distance, not sure about the off-roading though!

However i would recommend booking it as an excursion for the simple fact of having the "guided tour" to take in all the History from the Egyptologist.
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Post by Kjb »

The Terios is one of the best small 4x4's for off-roading. Jeremy Clarkson drove one in a Top Gear item, which was shown in July in the Uk (when I was visiting). The only problem for him was the bouncy suspension, which meant he kept hitting his head on the roof over the bumps - but you know how tall he is and how he drives!!! Anyway, I was impressed and I've got a Terios, which I drove over and around the area of the Nobles tombs with no problems. Also, Angie, from Arkwright's in Luxor got hers thro' a ploughed-up muddy field last week, so go for it!!:)
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Post by Winged isis »

Can you drive to the top of Anfish Mountain, or do you have to climb/walk?

Can you recommend any tour companies for the quarries and monasteries, please?

If you could only go to one of each, which quarry and which monastery would you visit? Or do tours only include both?

Any ideas of current prices?
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