Global Treasures ABU MENA A Christian Monument Egypt
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In Egypt, near Lake Mariout, is the most respected Christian pilgrimage destination of Abu Mena. Today, only its ruins remain. For more than 1700 years, the Kopts worshipped the holy martyr, Menas of Alexandria and in his honor, a Christian monastery was established here during the 3rd century.
Due to the construction of several canals and also the distribution of water from the River Nile, the region is gradually being transformed into fertile agricultural land. However, Egypt’s water supply system threatens to destroy the ruins of this historic sand-covered pilgrimage site.
On the excavation site, the finely crafted stone reliefs of Abu Mena’s submerged architecture offer a titillating promise of what lies beneath. Once a small town, today only a tranquil expanse of ruins and eroded walls are evidence of this once flourishing and lively centre for the pilgrims of early Christianity. The foundations and dimensions of its churches can still be discerned today.
Should the ruins of this ancient place of pilgrimage be allowed to sink beneath the desert forever, the loss of this unique early Christian monument would be inestimable.
Global Treasures - History''s Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa''s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world''s heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.