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This excursion to The Coptic Cairo to visit The Hanging Church, Coptic Museum, Babylon Fortress, Synagogue Ben Ezra, St Sergius and St Bacchus Church is a perfect one day trip to discover Coptic attractions in Egypt.
Our excursion to Old Cairo, also known as the Coptic Quarter, will start in the early morning. The place where we go with you was once the site of a significant Christian settlement. Here, on an area of about 60 acres, there were at least 42 churches, and now this settlement is bounded by a much smaller area and is located within the old Roman fortress, known as Fort Babylon. Now there are several dozen churches (one of the oldest in Egypt) and monasteries, as well as the Coptic Museum. All these we will try to visit during our tour of the quarter.
Within the walls of the old Roman fortress of Babylon, we find the most ancient Coptic churches: Abu Serga, El Muallaca or the Hanging Church, it was recently renovated and reopened to the public. Church of St. Barbara and the Church of the Virgin Mary. As well as the church of St. George. Usually the old Coptic churches do not go out and do not differ from the neighboring houses.
One of the oldest churches in Cairo is St Sergius and St Bacchus Church, also known as Abu Sergius. The earliest part of this building is believed to date back to the 5th century and was built above the cave, where the Holy Family was hiding during its stay in Egypt. This church was burned and restored in the 8th century, and then again partially restored during Fatimids reign. Despite the reconstruction, the Church of St. Sergius is still regarded as an example of the earliest churches in which the Copts worshiped.
Next, we will visit with you a very interesting place of the Coptic quarter - a synagogue! The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish temple in Egypt and the only active place of worship. Further we will walk along the wall in which the Coptic churches are enclosed up to the ruins of Fort Babylon. Initially, the fortress was quadrangular, 200 meters wide and 400 meters long, the walls of the fortress were 11 meters high and almost 3 meters thick. At the end of the 19th century, the walls of the fortress were virtually intact, but today only a small part of it remains.
And finally, let's visit the Coptic Museum, which was established in 1910 thanks to Marcos Simayka Pasha. The museum began to store artifacts relating to the Christian and Coptic history of Egypt. The museum consists of 2 floors with 14 rooms on each of them and opens onto a small garden, decorated with columns. The museum is divided into eight sections, arranged in chronological order so that visitors can appreciate the development of Coptic art over the centuries. There you will find sculpture and frescoes; ancient textiles and icons, products made of ivory and wood; locksmith section; manuscripts, ceramics and glass, as well as a collection of artifacts from Ethiopia.