About 6 miles south-west of Asyut on a cliff face lies the town of Durunka. The buildings here are modern, constructed by the Coptic leadership of Asyut. It is believed that the Holy Family stayed in the city's oldest church, which is built on an ancient quarry in the middle of the cliff. In a area that is heavily Christian (Coptic), the monastery and convent 'of the Holy Virgin' here is one of the most important, and is inhabited by around 50 nuns and monks. During the Moulid of the Virgin, many thousands of Christians pilgrimage here and there are daily religious parades. Nearby, other monasteries have churches which are dedicated to Saint Athanasius, Saint John the Baptist, Claudius, Philotas and Moncurius. Also nearby is a clearly visible rectangular opening in the cliff face which is generally believed to have been the hermitage of Saint John of Lycopolis.
Last Updated: June 27th, 2011
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