Bani Suef

The capital of the province of and situated on the west bank of the about 22 miles (35 km) south of the Fayyum. Until the nineteenth century, belonged to the ancient province of BAHNASA (Oxyrhynchus), which was famous for its Coptic heritage. The origin of the name Bani Suef is difficult to trace, but Arab medieval geographers called it Banmasawayh and in the sixteenth century it became known as Bani Suwayf or Suef.

Many old churches and monasteries are to be found in the immediate vicinity of Bani Suef, although documents do not attest to the existence of an early in the city itself. Nonetheless, in the twentieth century, became the seat of a bishop. It now has a and a built on the site of an older church whose columns are still lying in sight. A built in the mid-twentieth century contains manuscripts, stones, and artifacts from Coptic ruins in the surrounding area.

  • Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, Vol. 1, p. 336. Wiesbaden, 1984.