Arts & Culture

Holy Family Trail in Egypt: Five Sites Under Development Program

Holy Family Trail in Egypt: Five Sites Under Development Program

According to local Egyptian news outlets, the Ministry of Local development has announced its program to develop five archeological sites on the flight of the Holy Family’s trail.

The decision was announced on Monday; it involves the Monastery of Bishop Bishoy, the Church of the Virgin in Maadi, the Monastery of El Suryan, the Paromeos Monastery and the Church of Abu Sarja in Masr Al Qadim.

There are various forms of tourism, the backbone of the country’s economy, existing in Egypt; local and international tourists indulge in cultural and leisure tourism although the government is promoting the country’s potential for medical and religious tourism as well.

Other than allocating money for the development of tourists spots in the enclosure of the monasteries, the Ministry is also planning on improving infrastructure in the roads directing the trail, providing ‘green’ spaces and the refurbishment of certain monuments.

Syrian Monastery
Source: Wikimedia

“The Holy Family came to Egypt, traveling for about three-and-a-half years across the country. What we have done is-and this project is not recent as we started it about two or three years ago- we picked eight locations in four cities and we prepared their infrastructure to receive tourists,” Hesham el-Demery, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board told Egypt Today concerning the lay-out of the Holy Family’s trail.

As for the significant sites that will be developed, they are spread through Cairo and Wadi El Natrun with monuments in need for maintenance and development work.

As per the program laid out by the Ministry, the work will debut with the development of monasteries in Minya and Assiut; it is meant to last 6 to 18 months in both heavily-Christian populated governorates.

Paromeos Monastery
Source: Wikimedia

This stage will be followed with work in other governorates, namely Kafr El Sheikh, Sharqia and Gharbia.

Still outside of Cairo, the roads leading to three monasteries in the governorate of Beheira will be paved and widened; the endeavor will amount to 3.4 million EGP. Also in Beheira, 25o palm trees will be planted with the assistance of the university of Damanhour.

Moreover, designated as resting spots for future tourists, the minister is designing three camps “in the old Coptic style” on the roads leading to the monasteries.

Saint Bishoy Monastery
Source: Egypt Independent

The Ministry is additionally seeking to develop archeological sites of religious significance, as well as cleaning up West Cairo’s dump site in order to turn it into an open garden. Also in Cairo, the Ministry is pumping 6 million EGP into the restoration of the Church of Maadi, its surrounding environment and into the establishment an allocated tourist spot.

The Holy Family “tour” was devised by the Ministry of Tourism in April 2017; it was promoted with the collaboration of Pope Francis in April of that year.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Two Italian delegations have already been on the tour; the program is forecasted to attract a large number of tourists from all around the world.

Thousands of tourists already flock to Saint Catherine’s monastery in Sinai every year as the site is considered of religious significance to world’s three major Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism as one of its mountains is believed to have been the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

Saint Catherine’s monastery REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby/File Photo

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