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Complete Guide  to Egypt travel & Tours
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The Hanging Church

Coptic sites

Cairo short stay tour  03 Days/02 Nights

3 nights Cairo tour 04 Days/03 Nights

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Cairo, cruising the Nile 07 Days/6 Nights

Memorable trip 07 Days / 06 Nights

Across the Nile river 08 Days/07 Nights

The land of pharohs 09 Days / 08 Nights

leisure at red sea, Alexandria 10 D/09 N

Egypt dream tour 11 Days / 10 Nights

Budget package 12 Days/11 Nights

Nile supreme 12 Days/11 Nights

Wonders of Egypt 14 Days/13 Nights

The ancient Egypt 14 Days/13 Nights

Beach soul 15 Days/14 Nights

Cairo, long cruise, & Alexandria 15 D/14 N

Explore Egypt 16 Days/15 Nights

Spiritual-Holy land 16 Days/15 Nights

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Around Egypt & Jordan 26 Days/25 Night

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It is considered the oldest church in the area of Al Fustat . Called Al Muallaka (the hanging) because it was built up on ruins of two old towers left from the old fortress called the fortress of Babylon .It was dedicated to The Virgin Mary and St. Dimiana.

It dates back to the end of the 3rd century AD and the beginning of the 4th century A.D, but it was reconstructed and renovated several times. Some historians believe that it was built earlier, as it was a Roman Temple converted to Roman Church. Later, it became a Coptic Church, the evidence was those scenes which were discovered in 1984 at the western side of the right aisle of the church and which contained pagan Roman gods, but they were covered by a layers of Plaster.

 

The French monk Vansleb who was sent to Egypt about 1671 by king Louis XIV in order to study the state of the churches and the monasteries of Egypt mentioned that he saw on one of the walls of the Hanging Church, inscription written by the hand of the great Muslim commander Amr Ibn Alss asking the Muslim people to treat this church with respect.

This church has played an important role in the history of the Coptic Church because it became the seat of the Patriarchs after transferring it from Alexandria to Al Fustat. The 66th patriarch Anba Christodolos (1039-1079 AD) was the first pope to chant the holly liturgy in the church. This was maintained in El Mullaka Church until the 14th century when it transferred to Abu Sefein church.

Here there are 110 icons, the oldest of which dates back to the 8th century, but most of them date back to 18th century. Some of them were given as gift by Nakhla Al- Baraty Bey in 1898 A.D when he was the overseer of the church at that time.

                                                  

It takes the shape of a basilica and it has a wooden roof in the shape of Noah's Ark.

The church was very spacious but became much smaller through out the ages after several modifications; the last one was done by Obeid Bin Khozam in 1755 AD

It measures now 23.5 m in length, 18.5 in width and 9.5 m in height.

It consists of the following elements

- Entrance.

- The Narthex.

- The Nave and the two aisles.

The three sanctuaries ( located to the East of the church , the most important is the middle one which is dedicated for The Virgin Mary)

Some steps lead to the middle entrance. On both sides of this entrance there is a door that leads to 2 upper floors dedicated to the dwelling of the priest.

In front of the entrance there is a vestibule which was used as a resting place for visitors.  

Inside, the Southern Aisle separated from the nave by 8 marble columns, linked from above with a wooden architrave which is supported on arches.

The Northern Aisle is also separated from the nave by 8 marble columns but there is no architrave.

Nearly in the middle of the Southern Aisle there is a door, which leads to a small church with a sanctuary, inside this small church there is a baptistery which is a deep basin of reddish granite, it probably dates back to the 5th century. It is decorated for the sign of water in Hieroglyphics.

Of the three sanctuaries situated on the Eastern side, the most important is the middle one, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In the centre of this main sanctuary there is an altar made of marble. Above it there is a wooden dome supported by 4 marble columns. The dome is decorated with religious scenes such as Jesus on his throne surrounded by the four evangelist saints, the disciples, and the angles. In front of the middle altar in the Nave of the church, is a Pulpit which stands on 15 columns decorated with relief and mosaic, they symbolically represent Jesus, the 12 disciples, John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary.

There are 7 altars in the Church, 3 of them situated in the main sanctuary, 3 altars located to the right sanctuary. Among which is the altar of Tecla Hymanot the Ethiopian Saint and another that was recently discovered in the northern side.

Pharonic sites

Coptic sites

Greco roman

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Interesting tips

The church is located in Old Cairo Suburb you can take  a taxi to get there. it is only 7 KM away from Cairo centre

 

There are no entrance fees for this church

 

No photography  is allowed inside the church