Coptic Cairo (3 to 4 hours) - Free activity

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Article By: Lulu Kordi
3 months ago
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Culture-Cathedral Culture-Church Culture-Monastery Culture-Monument Culture-Mosque Culture-Temple Culture-Tower Settlement-City Settlement-Neighbourhood

We took the underground from Tahrir Square to Mar Guirguis stop. It took us around 6 minutes and we stepped out in front of the hanging church. We again hired one of the tour guides there to accompany us and answer all our curious questions. The first thing we saw close to the church were the remains of Babylon fortress that show the borders of one of the old city centers of Cairo and date back to the Persian and Roman eras in Egypt. Coptic Cairo is built around this fortress and upon its walls. The area contains historical places of worship for the 3 main religions that existed and still in Egypt: Hebraism, Christianity and Islam. In this unique religions-complex we started with an explanation of the road that the Saint Family pursued during their stay in Egypt followed by a visit to St. Sergius & Bacchus church. It was built above the crypt where it’s believed that the St. family sheltered during their stay in Cairo. He then lead us through more small alleys to Ben Ezra synagogue and where we saw the impressions of so many cultures that once lived in Egypt, all expressed in the form of art and represent a fusion of traditions. On the other hand, Ben Ezra is considered the first synagogue in Cairo and it was built on what is claimed to be the place where the Pharao’s daughter found Moses. Furthermore, we went to check the Greek church, built following the Greek traditions and art (the Byzantine church) We followed it by a quick tour inside the Coptic museum and enjoyed learning about records from the arrival of Christianity in Egypt through the Ottoman era and the display of the art mixture witnessing the multi-cultural history of Egypt. It showcases a lot of Christian treasures, actually it has the largest collection of Coptic art. After that, we toured the hanging church (it won its name because it was built upon the remains of the fortress) and its tower and we ended our tour by visiting Amr Ibn el As mosque (the first mosque in Cairo). In this tour, we only paid 300 EP to the guide.
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  • Mar Girgis, Kom Ghorab, Old Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
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