Deir al-Baramus

This is the westernmost of the four monastic communities in Wadi al-Natrun. It is said to occupy the place where Macarius the Great settled in 340 when he devoted himself to monastic life. The name al-Baramus is possibly derived from the Coptic word that means "that of the Romans". A widely held tradition says that two young Romans, Maximus and Domitius went to Wadi al-Natrun during the days of St. Marcarius after having visited the Christian shrines of Nicea and Palestine. They established themselves in a cell and lived to the end of their lives at this monastery. The older of the brothers is said to have attained perfection before his death, and only three days later, the other brother died.

Within the walls are four churches, the Church of the Virgin is the largest and notable for partially preserved wall paintings depicting biblical scenes: the Annunciation, The Nativity, the Baptism of Christ, the Wedding at Cana and others. The oldest icons date back to about 1200 AD.