The Hanging Church in Cairo, Egypt, is a religious archaeological entity, one of the most important historical Coptic monuments in Egypt, and one of the oldest churches in Egypt, the Orthodox Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, comes to be visited by tourists from all over the world.

The church, which is named after this name, due to its presence in the congregation of religions, at an altitude of 13 meters, on two towers of the old South Gate, for the Roman fortress of Babylon, established by Emperor Trajan in the second century AD, was established between the late 4th century and the first century 5th AD.

The hanging church is also an important shrine to copts, due to its historical value, its association with the Holy Family, and its privileged position among the churches and monasteries of many great saints.

The traveler will give you a detailed report on that ancient archaeological entity, and take you through the report on a journey inside the hanging church, to get to know it closely.

The site of the hanging church in Cairo

The hanging church is located in Cairo governorate, the capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in the old Egypt neighborhood of Mary Gerges Street, in the area of the complex of religions, where it is located near the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, and is adjacent to the Church of St. Mina, next to the Fort Babylon, the Temple of Ben Ezra El-Aliwe, and the Church of Abu Sifin the Martyr Markorius.

The outstanding church is adjacent to many churches and monasteries, including the Church of the Martyrs Abacus and John, the Church of St. Barbara, the Church of Mary Gerges, the Church of Prince Tadros Mashreq, the Church of The Mary Gerges, the Church of the Nuns of The Nunes, the Church of the Pope Shenouda, and the Church of our Lady, known as the Musheri.

The Hanging Church in Cairo
The Hanging Church in Cairo

Access to the hanging church

You can easily reach the hanging church, by taking the subway, disembarking at Mary Gerges Station, and from there to the church directly, or taking a taxi, and heading directly to the hanging church.

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Important information about the hanging church

History states that the hanging church, which has been destroyed more than once, over several centuries, in the ninth century there was a conflict between the ruler of Egypt and the Coptic Patriarch that led to the damage of the hanging church, which was rebuilt again in 975.

In the Islamic era, the hanging church was also renewed, more than once during the reign of Harun al-Rashid, when the Patriarch Mark requested permission from the governor to renew it, and during the reign of the Fatimid God,

permission was given to Patriarch Avram al-Syriani, to renovate all churches in Egypt, and to repair It was also damaged in the reign of Al-Zahir to cherish the religion of God.

In the 11th century, by Patriarch Christodoulos, the headquarters of the Holy See was moved from Alexandria between 1047 and 1077, and he was the first to take the hanging church as the seat of the Pope of Alexandria.

When the church was the first papal headquarters in Cairo, there were many major Christian religious ceremonies, as well as trials of heretics, trials of bishops and priests, and many patriarchs were buried in the 11th and 12th centuries, and there are many photographs in the church. And icons lit candles.

For two centuries, the hanging church has been an important center for the study of science, law, philosophy, and theology.

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Dates of mass in the hanging church

Mass is held at the hanging  church, on Sundays from 6.30am to 9.30am, the second mass until 11:00 a.m., Wednesday from 7.30 a.m., until 9.30am, and Friday from 8:00 to 11:00.

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Social activities from the Hanging church

On Friday, the hanging church offers the services of the Sunday schools for the age group of nursery students, and students of the elementary and preparatory stages of boys and girls, as well as the church,  provides services for strengthening classes, for elementary and preparatory school students, in addition to the presence of a computer training center In the Church, the Church also plays an important social role, helping the poor Christians to live.

Legends revolving around the hanging church

Legends revolving around the hanging church
Legends revolving around the hanging church

The hanging church in Cairo has been associated with several myths, including that the Holy Family, while fleeing to Egypt, took refuge in Egypt from the oppression of Governor Herodias, the ruler of Palestine, who ordered the killing of all children, and another legend of historical documents, that the Tsar, one of the Magi, created the hanging church.

There is another legend about the contents of the church, which states that silk priestly clothing, gilded fabrics, antiques and steamers, all made of gold and silver, and a recent legend told by some that the hanging church was the place of the retreat of one of the nuns, and lived in one of the carved rock vaults.

The most important activities of the outstanding church

  1. Once you have stepped in front of the hanging church, you will feel the prestige of the religious historical monument, where the church is entered through a large staircase located in the inner courtyard, and the façade on the west side, which consists of two floors with wooden columns, overlooking a side barrier of the staircase, and a triangular front on it A round window with a central window.
  2.  It is noteworthy that the worshippers in the old days were crossing into the hanging courtyard of the church, through a wide entrance bordered by a well of peace, and then moved the entrance to the south side of the church, enjoying your passage in this place, and you will feel that you have crossed through the machine of time, and returned to the past for ancient times.
  3.  You will draw your attention to the hanging church, the basilica in which the church was designed, where it consists of four pavilions, a pavilion of which was added during the restoration and architectural replanning, in 1775, which was carried out by Obaid Abi Khazam, enjoyed the architectural style that was praised Churches are old.
  4.  Enjoy the white marble columns that separate the wings of the church, including one column made of black basalt, topped with Corinthian crowns, that give a charming aesthetic form.
  5. The three old wings of the hanging church will lead you to the semi-circular altar, which is located in front of the head of the church, and the main altar of The Virgin Mary has been donated, while the other two have been dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. George.
  6.  Moving to the southern part, you will find an old chapel, which was later converted to a chapel, and donated to The Hemanot of St. Habshi.

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Activities for those interested in painting and architecture

inside the hanging church
inside the hanging church

7- Also enjoy watching the art of wood making in Cairo, which forms a large part of Islamic art, where it dates back to the Ottoman era, this art was based on the technique of small rollers of lathe wood, and has left its traces on the niches, windows, and columns, you will find most of the decorations around you made up of wood and marble .

8. He moved in time within the hanging church, to the Mamluk period, where the ornate façade beneath the tray, which was decorated and studded with colored marble.

9. Also enjoy seeing many geometric shapes inside, with the barrier made of ivory and Rapanos wood, decorated with crosses and distinctive geometric shapes.

10. There are also remnants of the drawings that once covered the pillars and walls of the church, as well as the Greek inscriptions on the door, which depict the life of Christ and enjoy them up close.

11. You can sense the greatness of the religious spirit within you, in the hanging chapel of the Church, where the frescoes depicting Christ sitting, around him the apostles, and other paintings of our Lady with the child.

12- Also enjoy seeing many icons, distributed on the walls of the church, which number about 90, which is one of the most famous characteristics of the church, so the Ministry of Antiquities is always keen on it, it is an Egyptian monuments and important historical monuments.

13. The greatness of the building will impress you when you watch the podium chair, the central place of the church, which is based on an estimated 15 columns and enjoy watching it up close.

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