Monuments And Ancient Sites In Al Minya
Al Minya is 246 km from Cairo and one of the most essential governorates of Upper Egypt because of its unique location midway between northern and southern Egypt. In addition, Al Minya has many historical sites and monuments that go back to different eras, from the Pharaonic period to modern times.
Al Minya stretches for around 135 kilometers on both banks of the Nile at 18 kilometers wide from the east to the west. The city is approximately 32,000km, and its population is around 4 million.
Al Minya was the capital of Egypt from (1373 – 1390) BC when Ikhnaton and his beautiful queen, Nefertiti, lived in the small village of Tel El Amarna in the Markez of Malawi. This village was the center of the worship of the god Aten. This was the first time in Egyptian history that the Egyptians worshiped one God, changing the religion that encouraged worshiping many gods, especially the famous God Amun.
The bridge of Upper Egypt had an essential role in other stages of Egyptian history. During the Roman era, it was the center of the worship of the God Thut, the God of wisdom and knowledge. In contrast, in the Copts era, the church of the Virgin Mary was built in Al Minya at the same time the Church of The Resurrection was built in Jerusalem. The Holy Family of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus (may God be pleased with them) also stayed in Al Minya for a while during their holy journey.
During the Islamic period, Al Minya was visited by several of the Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) companions. Al el Beit is where the two most famous Muslim army leaders, Khaled Ibn El Walid and Amr Ibn Al Aas, also came and built the historical mosque of Al Hassan. The governorate is even more proud that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married a lady from Al Minya, Marya the Copt.
The name of the governorate, Al Minya, went through many evolutions to reach its modern name. It was called Men'at Khufu, or the town of the breastfeeder of Khufu, as shown in the inscriptions in the tombs of Beni Hassan. Afterward, it was called "Mony" in the ancient Coptic language, which means the house or the store. The third name of the governorate was Menya Ibn Khaseeb, when the army leader Ibn Khaseeb wished to be its governor. 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 Muslim religious scholar Ahmed Al Fooly.
The Economy of Al Minya
Agriculture plays a significant role in the lives of the residents of Al Minya, as there are 550,000 acres of cultivated land with yams, onions, and sugar cane. The agricultural land in this region makes up around 6% of all the cultivated land in Egypt. Ma7asee; --0 Al Menya is also famous for producing raw materials for glass and ceramic production and making different kinds of Egyptian cheese.
The monuments and ancient sites in Al Menya
Tel Al Amarna was the capital of the kingdom Akhenaton established. It is 45 kilometers away from another ancient site, the tombs of Beni Hassan, so it is always a good idea to visit both sites on the same trip. Tel Al Amarana was also called "Okht Aten." The ruins of the ancient capital are still there in the isolated valley on the eastern bank of the Nile.
Tel Al Amarna hosts two tombs: one north and the other south of the town. These tombs are famous for their wall drawings and inscriptions that represent life during Ikhnaton's reign and the religious revolution he led.
The royal tomb of Akhenaton is located in a small, narrow valley six kilometers from the broad valley that separates the city's northern and southern parts.
Most of the tombs of Tel Al Amarna were never completed, and only a minimal number were used to bury the bodies of the royal family and their acquaintances. There are 25 tombs, numbered 1 to 6 in the north and 6 to 25 in the south.
The tombs that are worth visiting are:
In the tomb of "Hoya," he is portrayed as the watcher of the harem or ladies' section for King Akhenaton. On the right side, at the tomb's entrance, the retractive portrait of the king and his family is on the tomb of Ahmos.
Ahmos was one of the servants who held the fans for the king, and a statue represents him in his tomb.
The tomb of Meriri
Meriri was the grand priest of Aten's worship, and the tomb is filled with vibrant details of Pharaoh Akhenaton visiting the city and its temple.
The Tomb of Maho
This tomb is among the best preserved in Tel Al Amarna, and Maho was the police leader during Akhenaton's reign.
The Tomb of Ay
This is the best and most beautiful tomb in Tel Al Amarna. It includes drawings of royal life and everyday street life in the city. There is also a remarkable drawing of King Akhenaton and his wife Nefertiti presenting gold bracelets to Ay and his wife.
The tombs of Beni Hassan
This set of tombs is located 20 kilometers south of the city of Al Minya and contains around 300 tombs that belong to the middle Pharaonic era. These tombs were made of limestone, and some are open for visitors.
The tomb of Kheity
Kheity ruled the town of Orikes during the 11th dynasty, around 2000 B.C. The drawings on the walls of his tomb demonstrate typical daily life during the Middle Kingdom.
The Tomb of Baqete
Baqete was the father of Kheity, and his tomb's walls are decorated with strange drawings of wrestlers, deer, and men hunting wild animals.
Tomb of Khenomoheteb
It's a fine-looking tomb. Khenomoheteb, who ruled during Amenmehat in 1820 B.C., is represented in colored paintings on the tomb.
The Museum of Malawi
The Malawi of Malawi is located near the Cairo-Aswan highway. It was opened in 1963 and contains items found in the area of Tuna El Jebel; they date back to the Greek and Roman eras. The museum hosts a variety of mummies, Pharaonic coffins, Pharaonic statues, and many 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 critical section in the Roman period, where it served as the town's burial site. Tuna Al Jebel contains burial homes with unique wall paintings because they were created using a mixture of Roman and ancient Egyptian art. Excavation work is still ongoing in this area, and archaeologists are making new discoveries. The area has many tombs worth visiting, like the tomb of Petozeris, Asadora, and the tomb of the god Tehot.
The Roman water wheel
It dates back to the Roman period, was built out of red rocks, and is 200 feet deep.
Monuments of Ashmoneen
Located eight kilometers west of Malawi, they were the center of worship of Tehoot, also known as the monkey god. This area contains important monuments, including the ruins of a basilica church with 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 Ramses ll built in the modern era.
The Monastery of Abu Al Barsha
Located on the east bank of the Nile opposite Malawi, the monastery can be reached by car. It contains several drawings and portraits of early Christian life.
The Monastery of Abu Hamas
This monastery is 1.5 kilometers north of the Abu Al Barsha Monastery. It contains a remarkable church that combines Byzantine and basilica art. The church was built in the fifth century A.D. It also includes a church carved in the mountain for the saint Yohanas, with many portraits and icons of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The Monuments of Sheikh Abada
In 130 B.C., the Roman Emperor Hadrian built this city, which was crucial in the Pharaonic era. The ruins of a massive temple of Ramses ll were discovered and are very interesting to see. In the Islamic period, Sheikh Abada Ibn Al Samet chose this area to build the mosque named after him. Maria, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), also used to live in this area for a time.