Many legends have grown up over the centuries, particularly in the Coptic tradition, about the places in Egypt that may have been visited by the Holy Family. All is now made wonderfully clear - by the Egyptian tourist board! After no doubt detailed research, (actually it was probably based on Otto Meinardus's book - see the sources page) they have published this helpful map of the  family's wanderings.

   Hmm. Maybe a small pinch of salt required here. 
   One location that is mentioned in the Pseudo-Matthew story is the city of Sotinen, on the borders of Hermopolis - the approximate location is that of 'Mallowy' on the map above -  it is usually spelt Mallawi.  This is the city in which the idols supposedly fell, though sometimes this is associated with the city of Hermopolis itself, an important centre for the worship of the god Thoth.

Statue of Thoth, Hermopolis

Ruins of the City of Hermopolis

Few painters made much of a fist of providing a realistic Egyptian setting, but in this not-at-all restful scene Altomonte has included a pyramid in the background. 

Martino Altomonte
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana

   This picture by Poussin shows the Holy Family having an agreeable time in an unnamed Egyptian city. Perhaps this painting should be adopted by the Egyptian tourist board. 

Hermitage, St Petersburg

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