Gabal El-Tair ('Bird Mountain') east of Samalout, 2 kms south of Meadeyat Beni Khaled. It is known by this name (Gabal El-Tair) because thousands of birds gather there. The Holy Family rested in the cave which is now located inside the ancient church there. Gabal El-Tair is also called Gabal El-Kaf ('Palm Mountain'). Coptic tradition maintains that, as the Holy Family rested in the shade of the Mountain, Jesus stretched His little hand to hold back a rock which was about to detach itself from the mountain-side and fall upon them. The imprint of His palm is still visible.

It is said that the Church of the Holy Virgin was built by the empress Helena (mother of the Emperor Constantine) in memory of the passage of the Holy Family. A memorial tablet on the west wall indicates that the first structure was completed in the year 328 AD and repaired by Severus, the bishop of Minya, in 1938.
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