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Sohag Governorate

Sohag Governorate is one of the 27 governorates of Egypt. It is situated in the southern area of Upper Egypt and encompasses a long stretch of the Nile Valley. Starting 1960, its capital has been the city of Sohag. Before 1960, the capital was the city of Girga and the name of the governorate was Girga Governorate.


Up until the 19th Century, all that could be found in the Sohag region was on small, solitary village. It's unclear how long the area has been inhabited for throughout history, but there are various mummies here from the Roman times. In Coptic times, there used to be a community of monks living at the White Monastery in the Sohag area. April 10 is the national celebration day of the governorate and it celebrates the victory of the Egyptian national resistance troops against French Troops in the Battle of Johaina in 1799.



Sohag lies on the western bank of the Nile on a fertile agricultural plain, approximately 6 kilometers southwest of Akhmim. The city is made up of two islands: Karaman-EZ-Zahur Island, which is bigger and uninhabited, and EZ-Zahur Island Gazirat az-Zuhur, “Flower Island,” which has some homes.


Sohag city has only a few archaeological sites, and for this reason tourism represents just a small slice of the city's income. Other sources of income include various small industries, trade of carpets, weaving, spinning, furniture making, and sugar production. Educational and administrative services are several other big local sources of income as well, and a small university employs a number of lcoal residents.


Sidi Arif Mosque is located in the south of Sohag city. It was built in the 14th century (the 8th century of the Islamic calendar). The current building was constructed around 1995. At the corners of the facade are two minarets, and the roof is crowned by a beautiful dome. Within the mosque, the bases of the piers and the walls were lined with red granite.


The Church of the Holy Virgin is located near the north of the market of Souq Qaisariya. It has five naves and includes three sanctuaries for Saint George (left), the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael at the ends of the middle three naves next to a wooden iconostasis. On both sides of the entrances to the sanctuaries are wooden icons of the Holy Virgin and Jesus. The crosses and Lord’s last Supper are situated above the iconostasis. The altar in the central nave is framed by a pigeon and a fish and the other ones are framed by a dove and the angels. Galleries are situated above the entrance and the aisles. On the walls, there are scenes and paintings of saints and the life of Jesus.

Cemeteries and Temples

The city is the site of a unique temple built for the goddess Repyt (Triphis) by Ptolemy XV Caesarion and upkept by the succeeding Roman emperors. The south of this temple was an earlier temple of Ptolemy IX Soter II. One of the tombs nearby, belonging to the brothers Ibpemeny “the younger” and Pemehyt of the late second century BC, has two zodiac wheels on the ceiling.

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