"Old Cairo/ Coptic Cairo"
"Old Cairo/ Coptic Cairo" Reviews
what not to miss in Cairo Jan 17, 2013
Pyramids of Giza.
Pyramids Sound and Light Show.
Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary).
Egyptian Museum (http://www.egyptianmuseum.gov.eg/)
Mohamed Ali Mosque (Citadel of Saladin).
Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan.
Ride a Felucca down the Nile.
Khan El Khalili Bazaar.
Saqqara (Sakkara) Pyramids.
Church of St. Barbara..
Ben Ezra Synagogue.
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Coptic Cairo Nov 24, 2012
Old Cairo was fun. There were two dimensions to this place for me. The first dimension was the Christian element. There are several churches built in Old Cairo. The churches that I saw were the Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George, and Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church.
The Church of St. George, located in Coptic Cairo, is the principal Greek Orthodox church of Egypt. It is built atop an old Roman tower and adjoins the Monastery of St. George. The original Church of St. George, built in the 10th century A.D., was destroyed by a fire. The present church was built in 1904.
The Hanging Church did not really excite me at the time I was there. The Church retains the moniker “Hanging Church” because it is located above the Roman fortress in Coptic Cairo.
I enjoyed my time in the “churchy” area. I was somewhat cynical in regards to the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, because they claim that Yosep, Miriam, and Yeshua stayed in this area. However, the bible does not say where the family stayed in Egypt, only that they went there. In addition, there is no archeological evidence that the aforementioned people ever stayed in the area. What I will say is that the site was beautiful.
I also visited a cemetery. The cemetery is in between the Hanging Church and the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church.
The second dimension was the Jewish element. There is one Synagogue located in Coptic Cairo: The Ben Ezra Synagogue. According to local tradition, it is the site where Moses was found after Jochebed (his mother) placed him in the Nile. However, what we know for sure is that Abraham ibn Ezra, a resident of Jerusalem, purchased the land on which the synagogue was built was in 882 A.D. for 20,000 dinars. I thoroughly enjoyed this site. When I spoke a little Hebrew the man at the front let me take a few snapshot inside (which is strictly prohibited). I think the reason is that he thought I was Jewish. Most people in Cairo do not just start yapping in Hebrew! Take home message: people appreciate it when you appreciate their culture.