Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
October 5, 2008
From journal Pyramids, Popes and Parallel Worlds
July 28, 2006
From journal Amazing Family Trip to Egypt
December 12, 2005
However, the Christian history of Egypt is significant in its own right, and a trip to Coptic Cairo helps to put a lot of it into perspective. For example, I didn't know that the Copts had their own pope that began with Saint Mark back in the first century AD.
Even though we only spent about 3 hours in Coptic Cairo, it was still plenty of time to get a good handle on the area and walk around the streets and visit the churches. Although this place is pretty recent by comparison to the Pharaonic sites, the fact that it is still a living, breathing place makes it just as remarkable as anything else. The walkways inside the enclosed area are narrow and crooked. The houses are squeezed together and are of irregular shapes.
The centerpiece of Coptic Cairo is the Hanging Church, also known as the Church of the Virgin Mary. It is built into the walls of the Roman Fortress and was originally constructed in the 4th century. It is reached by climbing 29 steps, which then steps out into an open court. The church is captivating to look at and explore despite the serious and conservative atmosphere that permeates the place.
There are several other churches in Coptic Cairo, including the Church of St. George and the Church of St. Sergius. The latter one has historical significance since it is thought that the Holy Family rested in this location on their flight from Herod. Naturally, there was no church there at the time, but it is an important landmark.
All in all, I really liked the time I spent here in Coptic Cairo. I was fascinated by the simple livelihoods of the people who live here. I spent a lot of time on the narrow walkways and streets taking pictures and videos. It is certainly worth taking an afternoon to explore it.
From journal The Sands of Time