World’s Oldest Christian Monastery Restored
St. Antony’s Monastery, touted as the oldest surviving Christian monastery in the world, reopened last week after 8 years and $14.5 million in renovations.
St. Antony, largely regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, settled in the mountainous area of modern day Egypt at the end of the 3rd century, to live in isolation in accordance with an ascetic lifestyle until his death. After his death his followers built the monastery which was completed around 350CE and remains in use to this day.
Triple cool factor from the Discovery News Article:
“Amid the renovations, archaeologists from the American Research Center in Egypt discovered the remains of the original monks’ cells dating back to the 4th century under the Church of the Apostles. After they were excavated, archeologists in 2008 covered them with thick glass so that visitors to the church can see them below their feet. ARCE also renovated stucco paintings in Church of St. Anthony.”