Dayr Al-Qasriyyah



According to al-MAQRIZI (1853, Vol. 2, pp. 501-502), this monastery was situated less than a mile south of Atfih and was known as Dayr al-Qasriyyah even though it was dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul, whose feast was commemorated on 5 Abib.

Atfih was a bishopric down to the seventeenth century (Vansleb, 1677, pp. 26-27). The present church of the village is dedicated to the apostles (Clarke, 1912, p. 205, no. 15); it is of ancient reused materials, and the level is very much below ground. Around it is a Christian hamlet, which has taken the place of the monastery and its cemetery.

An official document of the seventeenth century mentions Dayr al- Atfihiyyah (Slane, 1883-1895, no. 319).


  • Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. London, 1912. Slane, W. MacGuckin, Baron de. Catalogue des manuscrits arabes de la Bibliothèque nationale. Paris, 1883-1895. Vansleb, J. Histoire de l’église d’Alexandrie. Paris, 1677.




A four-columned building, the small church is of familiar pattern, with remarkably stout square pillars and three sanctuaries. The middle part is slightly emphasized in its width. There is no khurus (room between naos and sanctuary). All the bays are roofed with domes of the same kind on squinches, the three middle domes being furnished with a ring of windows. The date of the church follows from the date on the hijab (screen) of the main sanctuary, A.M. 1246/A.D. 1530.


  • Timm, S. Das christliche-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, Vol. 1, pp. 251-56. Wiesbaden, 1984.


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