Minya Governorate

Minya Governorate
Minya Governorate
—  Governorate of Egypt  —

Minya Governorate on the map of Egypt
Country  Egypt
Seat Minya (capital)
 – Total 32,279 km2 (12,463 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 – Total 4,179,300
 – Density 129.5/km2 (335.3/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)

Minya Governorate (Arabic: ‏محافظة المنياMuḥāfaẓat al Minyā, Egyptian Arabic: [moˈħɑfzˤet elˈmenjæ]) is one of the governorates of Upper Egypt. The name originates from the chief city of the governorate, originally known in Sahidic Coptic as Tmoone (ⲧⲙⲟⲟⲛⲉ) and in Bohairic as Thmonē (ⲑⲙⲟⲛⲏ), meaning “the residence”, in reference to a monastery formerly in the area. The name may also originate from the city's name in Egyptian Men'at Khufu.



Little is known today about Minya Governorate compared to its great wealth of important archaeological sites. Its remarkable history, including Ancient Egyptian, Hellenistic, Roman and Arab periods, has not yet received the full attention of scholars.

Ancient Egyptian period

Dehnet, Fraser Tombs, Sharuna, and Zawyet el-Maiyitin comprise monuments dating back to the Old Kingdom.

The village of Bani Hasan al Shurruq houses 390 rock-cut decorated tombs and chapels from the Middle Kingdom (2000–1580 B.C., especially the sixteenth dynasty). The Speos Artemidos is nearby, and hosts temples built by Queen Hatshepsut.

Akhetaten was built by Pharaoh Akhenaten and dedicated to the god Aten. Akhenaten lived there in islation with his beautiful wife, Nefertiti, and daughters, devoting himself to the monotheistic religion that he preached. The glorious remains of the palaces, temples and tombs still exist today.

Other significant archaeological sites in the governorate of Minya include Deir Abu Hinis, Deir el-Bersha, El-Sheikh Sa'id, and Tuna el-Gebel.

Greco-Roman period

El Ashmunein (Hermopolis Magna) was the capital of the region during this period. It was the main center of worship of the god Thoth. Today, the ruins of a Greek temple, similar to the Parthenon, can be still found.

The tomb and chapel of Petosiris are found near the modern village of Tuna el-Gebel.

Antinopolis was built in 130 A.D. by the Roman emperor Hadrian in memory of his favorite cup-bearer Antinous.

Byzantine period

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary at Gebel el-Teir is an important Christian site near the city of Samalut. Its church was built by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in 328, on one of the sites where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed during its Flight into Egypt.

Oxyrhynchus was an important administrative center during the Hellenistic Period, and remains an important archaeological source for papyruses from the Byzantine Egypt.

Arab period

Sheikh Ibada contains important monuments dedicated to the renowned Muslim warrior Ibadah Ibn Al Samet.

Maghagha hosts the mosque of the famous Muslim Zayid ibn al Mugharah.

Modern history

Today, Minya governorate has a large numbers of Christians, particularly in the city of Mallawi. There are a number of active monasteries in the region.

National holiday

The national holiday of the Minya governorate is on 18 March. It commemorates those who were executed by the British at Deir Mawas on 18 March 1919.

Agriculture and industry

Minya Governorate is an important agricultural and industrial region. Among its principal crops are sugar-cane, cotton, beans, soya beans, garlic, onions, vegetables of various sorts, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, and grapes. Among the leading local industries are food processing (especially sugar and the drying and grinding of onions), spinning and weaving of cotton, perfumes, oils and fats, cement-making, quarrying (especially limestone), and brick-making.

Location and setting

The capital of Minya governorate is the city of Minya. The governorate is one of the most highly populated governorates of Upper Egypt. It contains nine cities; 3,375 villages; and 10,875 hamlets, within the following nine boroughs, from north to south:

Other important sites in the Minya Governorate include:

Monasteries in the Minya Governorate

Prominent People from Minya Governorate


  • Total area: 32,279 km².
  • Percentage to total area of Egypt: 3.2%.
  • Population: around 4.2 million
  • Population density: 115 people/km²
  • Rural population:
  • Percentage to the whole population of Egypt: 5.1%
  • Population growth rate:
  • Minya Governorate administrative divisions: 9 localities, 57 local administrative units, 346 small villages, and 1429 tiny villages.


  • The Egyptian Tourist Authority, - ETA.

External links

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