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Sawhaj Travel Guide, Egypt

Learn About Sawhaj, Egypt 

Sawhaj or Sohag is situated on the western bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt between Jirja and Asyut. It is located opposite Akhmin on the Eastern bank. There is not much of tourist interest in Sawhaj, apart from the Red and White monasteries. A much more interesting place is the town of Akhmin on the opposite bank of the Nile.


Foreigners are forbidden to travel to and from Sawhaj by bus or avail service taxis. So the only means of traveling is by train. There are several trains running daily to Asyut and also along Cairo-Luxor line.


Some of the hotels where a traveler can check in are the 3 star Al Safa Hotel overlooking the Nile, The Casa Louvy Hotel an the Merit Ammoun Hotel.

  Places of Interest

The Red Monastery and the White Monastery are the two places of interest near Sawhag.The White Monastery, or the Deir Al Anba Shenouda established by St. Pigol in 440 is located 6 km from Sawhag.It is named White monastery because of its white limestone structure. Only a small part of the monastery survives and that is the church modeled in the Basilica style. From outside the church looks like an old Egyptian temple. Pillars and stones from old temples were used during construction. Today the monastery has very little of its original grandeur and is much smaller in size.

Not far from the white monastery is the Deir Al Anba Bishoi or the Red monastery named so because of the red burnt bricks used for construction. Unlike the White monastery a small village surrounds it. The White monastery is 3 km south of the Red monastery.

Sawhaj has two very important mosques namely the 15th centuries Masjid Al Arif and the Al Gamia belonging to the Fatimid period.

Sawhaj is also known for the Temple of Seti, which was begun by Seti 1 and completed by Rameses.The temple consists of two halls with carved and painted reliefs. Behind this temple is the Osirion, which consists of several hallways. There is a courtyard that leads to a second one, which too is pillared. The structure consists of sixteen rooms on all sides. To the north of this temple is the temple of Ramses II.It has a doorframe made of granite and sandstone pillars.


Sawhaj’s economy is dependant on its food processing units, textile weaving and cotton ginning factories. It holds distributorship of automobile parts and is also an important center for automobile repairing.

Sawhaj or Sohag on the banks of the Nile is not a hot destination spot for tourists. A day trip to Sawhaj from Akhmin on the opposite bank is enough.

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Sawhaj City Ratings

  • Rating61%
    City Rank288
  • History & Culture: rated for 50%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 60%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 60%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 50%
  • Food: rated for 70%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 70%
  • Shopping: rated for 70%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 60%
  • Must visit this place: not rated
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