Al Minya City -Upper Egypt
The monuments and ancient sites in Al Menya
Al Menya, which is 246 kilometers away from Cairo, is considered to be one of the most important governorates of Upper Egypt because of its special location in the middle way between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, or the Northern and Southern of Egypt. This is besides the variety of monuments that the governorate hosts that go back to different eras from the Pharonic era to the modern times.
Al Menya is stretched over a distance that ranges around 135 kilometers on both
banks of the Nile with 18 kilometers wide from the east to the west. The size of
the city is approximately 32 thousand kilometers and its populations reach a
number of 4 million Egyptians.
Al Menya was the capital of Egypt in (1373 – 1390) BC when Ikhnaton and the beautiful queen, Nefertiti, lived there in the small village of Tel El Amarna in the Markez of Malawi the center of the worship of the God Aten. This was the first time in the Egyptian history when the Egyptians worshiped one god, changing the religion that encouraged worshiping many gods specially the famous god of Amun.
The bride of Upper Egypt had an important role in other stages of theEgyptian history. In the Roman era, it was the center of the worship of the god Thut, the god of wisdom and knowledge, while in the Copts era the church of the Virgin Mary was built in Al Menya in the same time the Church of Al Resurrection was built in Jerusalem. The holy Family has stayed in Al Menya for a while as well during their holy journey.
In the Islamic period Al Menya was proud to be visited by a number of the prophet's companions and Al el Beit when the two most famous Moslem army leaders, Khaled Ibn El Walid and Amr Ibn Al Aas who built the historical mosque of Al Hassan, the son of Al Saleh, the son of Zein Al Abdeen, the grandson of the prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him.
The governorate even had more pride when the prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him, married a lady from Al Menya, Marya the Copt.
The name of the governorate, Al Menya, went through a large process of evolution to reach its modern name today. It was called Men'at Khofu, or the town of the breast feeder of Khufu, as it is shown in the inscriptions in the tombs of Beni Hassan. Afterwards, it was called "Mony" in the ancient Coptic language which means the house or the store. The third name of governorate was Menya Ibn Khaseeb when the army leader Ibn Khaseeb wished to be its governor and eventually, the Caliph of the Abbasids at the time, Harun El Rashid, granted him the governorate and assigned him as its ruler. Then, it was called Menya el Fooly referring to the famous Moslem religious scholar, Ahmed Al Fooly.
Agriculture plays a major role in the lives of the residents of Al Menya as there is 550,000 acres of cultivated land with qam7, onions, sugar cane that represents around 6% of all the cultivated land of Egypt. Ma7asee; --0 Al Menya is also famous for producing raw materials for glass and ceramic production. Al Menya is famous for the production of different kinds of Egyptian cheese as well.
The monuments and ancient sites in Al Menya
Tel Al Amarana:
Tel Al Amarana is the capital of the kingdom that Akhenaton established. It is located 45 kilometers away from another ancient site which is the tombs of Beni Hassan so it is always a good idea to visit both sites in the same trip. Tel Al Amarana was called "Okht Aten". The ruins of the ancient capital are sill there in the an isolated valley in the Eastern bank of the Nile
Tel Al Amarna hosts two groups of tombs: The first is located to the north of the town and the other is located to the south of the city. These tombs are famous for their wall drawings and inscriptions that represented the life at the time of Ikhnaton and the religious revolution he led.
The royal tomb of Akhenaton is located in a small narrow valley six kilometers away from the wide valley that separates the northern and southern parts of the city.
It is noted that most of the tombs of Tel Al Amarna was not completed and a very small number of tombs were actually used as a burial place for the bodies of the royal family and their acquaints. There are 25 tombs that are numbered 1 to 6 in the north and 6 to 25 in the south.
The tombs that are worth visiting are:
The tomb of "Hoya" he was the watcher of the Harem, or ladies section in for the king Akhenaton. There is an attractive portrait of the king and his family to the right side in the entrance of the tomb.
The tomb of Ahmos
Ahmos was one of the servants who held the fans marwa7a for the king and there is statue representing him in his tomb
The tomb of Meriri
Meriri was the grand priest of the worship of Aten and drawings of the Pharo, Akhenaton visiting the city and the temple of the city are present richly all over the tomb.
The Tomb of Maho
This tomb is among the best preserved tombs in Tell Al Amarna and Maho was the leader of the police in the period of Akhenaton.
The Tomb of Ay
This is the best and most beautiful tomb in Tell Al Amarana and it includes drawings of the royal life and the common street life of the city as well. There is also a remarkable drawing of the king Akhenaton and his wife Nefertiti presenting gold bracelets to Ay and his wife.
The tombs of Beni Hassan
These set of tombs is located 20 kilometers to the south of the city of Al Menya and it contains around 300 tombs that belongs to the middle Pharonic era. These tombs were made out of limestone and some of these tombs are open for visitors.
The tomb of Kheity
Kheity was the ruler of the town of Orikes in the era of the 11th dynasty around 2000 years BC. The drawings on the walls of the tomb demonstrate the life of the middle kingdom.
The Tomb of Baqete
Baqete was the father of Kheity and its walls are decorated with strange drawings of wrestlers and dears. There are also drawings of men hunting wild animals.
Tomb of Khenomoheteb
It’s a fine-looking tomb and Khenomoheteb served as a ruler in the period of Amenmehat 1820 years BC. Colored paintings that represent the life of Khenomoheteb decorate the tomb.
The museum of Malawi
The museum Malawi is located in the near the Cairo Aswan high way and it was opened in the year 1963 and it contains the items which were found in the area of Tuna El Jebel and they go back to the Greek and roman era. The museum hosts a variety of mummies, Pharonic coffins, Pharonic statues, and a lot of items that the Egyptians used in their daily lives.
Tuna Al Jebel
This area is located to the west of the ancient town of ashmonin and it was a very important section in the Roman period and it served as a burial site for the town. Tuna Al Jebel contains burial homes with wall paintings that are very unique because it was created as a mixture between the roman and ancient Egyptian art. Excavation work is still going on in this area and the scientists discover new findings every now and then. The area has many worth visiting tombs like the tomb of Petozeris, the tomb of Azadora, and the tomb of the god Tehot.
The roman water wheel
It goes back to the roman period and was built out of red rocks and it is 200 feet deep.
Monuments of Ashmoneen
It is located eight kilometers to the west of the town of Malawi and it was the center of the worship of the god Tehoot, or the monkey god. The important monuments of this area contains the ruins of a basilica church with its granite columns, the temple of Philip Arhides, a statue of the Tehoot god as a baboon monkey, and the ruins of the temple of the god Tehoot which was built by Ramses ll in the modern era.
The monastery of Abu Al Barsha
Located on the east bank of the Nile opposite of the town of Malawi and it can be reached by car. The monastery contains a number of drawings and portraits of the Christian life.
The monastery of Abu Hamas
It is located one and a half kilometers to the north of the Abu Al Barsha Monastery. It contains a remarkable church that includes a mixture of the byzantine and basilica art. The church was built in the fifth century AD. It also contains a church which was curved in the mountain for the saint Yohanas and it has many portraits and icons of the Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The monuments of Sheikh Abada
In the year 130 BC the Roman emperor, hardian built this city which was also an important city in the Pharonic ear where the ruins of a huge temple of Ramses ll was discovered. In the Islamic era, Sheikh Abada Ibn Al Samet chose this area to build his mosque that was named after him. Maria, the wife of the prophet Mohamed also used to live in this area.