Thermal Basilica at Abu Menas in Egypt

Thermal Basilica

Built in the 5th century to accommodate the increasing number of Christian pilgrims, the Thermal Basilica used to store the curative waters which were used for the heated baths and pools surrounding the Basilica. Legend has it that pilgrims used to fill tiny flasks with water from the Basilica. The flasks were stamped with the seal of Saint Menas. The seal was a picture of Saint Menas standing between two kneeling camels. During the 5th and 6th century, many buildings were built around the Thermal Basilica. A 48,000 square yard monastery was built to the north side of the Basilica. Archeologists excavated an entire town with houses and cemeteries. They even found the house of the potters who made the flasks, the shop, and the remains of some flasks, lamps and toys.

Return to Christian Monasteries of Egypt