Wadi Naturn, Egypt

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(Last Updated On: March 22, 2019)

The monasteries we have been visiting are all located in an area referred to as Wadi Natrun, a low spot in the Western Desert northwest of Cairo where underground water from the Nile supports a series of small lakes.This area was important in Pharaonic Egypt because the naturn found here was used in the mummification process. (Naturn is described as a naturally occurring combination of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate that forms in the lakes, which I think means it is a type of salt.)

It has been an important monastic center since the 4th century, and even today new churches and other religious buildings are under construction.

There is a busy little town here today, with a few fancy modern homes, plenty of small dilapidated structures, and a large variety of modest residential and commercial buildings.

Above it all tower a mosque’s slender twin minarets.

I wish I could spend more time looking around here.

Next Post: Ragui

Egypt is Awesome! (2007 itinerary)

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