White Monastery ( Shenouda Monastery ) is located about 8 km west of Sohag city; it was founded by Anba Shenouda, the Almohads head in 441 AD.
The monastery is considered one of the oldest Coptic monuments in Egypt built on the Pharaonic city ruins. Only a limestone church built in the a basilica shape is left of the monastery.
Part of White Monastery
Later, the antiquities supreme council carried out a project of architectural restoration of the church, which included the whole church and the walls of the northeast corner. The church plate, halls and the well chamber were re-tiled using limestone of the Maasranic type.
The northeast corner of the church was dismantled and the stone staircase was re-installed. An iron corridor was rehabilitated and the walls were reinstalled again after numbering the bricks.
Noteworthy, American Research Center also carried out meticulous architectural restoration to the monastery: the mission strengthened the separation wall between the courtyard and the Western Hall with limestone, in addition to the restoration of the southwestern corner.
The walls of the barrel-vaulted passageway, antechamber and burial chamber display a program principally featuring images of gemmed crosses, deer, gazelles, eagles and peacocks.
walls were reinstalled again after numbering the bricks
On other hand, Sohag, like most small Egyptian cities, is rough around the edges but is a very important area for Egypt’s Coptic Christian population. In addition to the two early Christian churches that stand nearby, the area is home to one of the largest Coptic communities in Upper Egypt.