Wonderful Cairo – Part 3

Explore Egypt Tours is pleased to present Cairo’s several destinations to show you some of these wonderful landmarks to enjoy and know more about it. This article is the 3rd one in a series of articles about tourist places that worth a visit in Cairo.

1 – National Museum of Egyptian Civilization: 

What is the history of National Museum of Egyptian Civilization?

The construction of this museum was a part of UNESCO project in 1998. The UNESCO chose Ain Elsira – Fustat to be the place for establishing this museum where it is more harmonious with the museum concept whereas the museum will display the cultures that came on Fustat such as Prehistory, Ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Coptic, Islamic, Mohamed Ali, and modern history. 

National Museum of Egyptian Civilization was partially opened in 2017 with a temporary exhibition is called (Crafts of Egypt), and the museum will be opened at the end of 2020 by displaying ancient Egyptian royal mummies in a new concept. 

The NMEC Inside

2 – The Coptic Museum in Cairo:

What is the history of The Coptic Museum?

The Museum was built in 1910 by Marcus Simika. It is located in Old Cairo beside the Babylon fortress and the hanging church. It can be noted that the facade of the Coptic Museum influenced by Al Aqmar Mosque façade.

What can be seen in The Coptic Museum?

This museum was built for displaying the collections that date back to the Christian period in Egypt. These collections are showing the mixture that happened between the ancient Egyptian civilization and Christianity, and how the Christian community lived in Egypt.

The museum consists of two floors hold these artifacts such as textiles, Icons for the Virgin Mary, The Christ, and Apostles, metal works, just to name a few.

Why do we call the Christians in Egypt Copts?

The ancient Egyptians called Egypt (Kmt) which means the black land. When the Greeks conquest Egypt, they called Egypt Aigyptos that derived from Kmt. Then when the Muslims came to Egypt in 621 AD, they changed the Greek word Egyptos that means the Egyptians to be Copt (in Arabic qibṭ). Because the Egyptian citizens in that time were converting Christians, with time the word Copts became referring to the Christians in Egypt. 

3 – Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque:

What is the history of Amr Ibn Al Aas Mosque?

This Mosque was built by Amr Ibn Al Aas in Al Fustat city in 642 AD after his conquest of Egypt to be the first mosque in Egypt and Africa.

What is the description of this Mosque?

It consists of four riwaqs and an open courtyard that has a fountain. Although the main structure of this mosque does not exist because the mosque was expanded many times during its history, this mosque attracts many visitors to see the oldest mosque in Egypt located in Old Cairo beside the seven Christian churches and the Jewish synagogue.

4 – The Hanging Church:

It is the most famous church in Egypt. It is located in Old Cairo. It was built by the patriarchate of Isaac in 690.

It consists of four chambers. It was built on the basilica style. The church has 110 icons such as icons for the Virgin Mary and The Christ, additionally the remains of the Apostles.

Why is it called the Hanging Church?

It is originally called the Virgin Mary Church, but it is called the Hanging Church because it was built on two towers of the Babylon fortress so it appeared as hanging. 

5 – Ben Ezra Synagogue:

What is the history of the Ben Ezra Synagogue?

Originally this Synagogue was a Christian church, but Abraham Ben Ezra bought it from the Christians for 20,000 dinars in the 9th century AD. It is considered as the oldest Jewish synagogue in Cairo.  It is located in Old Coptic Cairo. 

What does this Synagogue look like?

It was built on the basilica style. It consists of two floors. The first floor was dedicated to men, while the second one was dedicated to women. It had unique books but they were moved to Cambridge University. 

What was said about the Ben Ezra Synagogue?

It has a legend that said that this Synagogue was built where the pharaoh’s wife found the Prophet Moses because the Nile River was passing in this place in the past.

6 – The Cavern Church or Church of Saint Sergius:

The St. Sergius Church dates back to the 4th or 5th century. It was located in Old Coptic Cairo. It was built on the basilica style. 

This church has different names such as Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, the St. Sergius Church, or the Cavern Church. 

What is the relation between Church of Saint Sergius and the Holy Family?

This church is related to the Holy family (Virgin Mary and the Christ) because it was built on the cave where the Holy family was hiding during their journey in Egypt for escaping the Roman persecution.

This cave was on the ground in the past but due to the mud that was coming with the Nile flood every year, this cave disappeared underground.

7 – The Cave church or Saint Simon Church:

You will enjoy this experience by walking through winding alleys to reach Saint Simon Church or The Cave church that is considered one of the most fascinating churches in Egypt and the Middle East. It is located near the garbage city (in Arabic Zabbaleen city) on El Mokattam hill.

It was carved into AL-Muqattam Mountain rocks in 1975. It takes the shape of the amphitheater that allowing a seating capacity of 20,000.

Who is St. Simon?

He was a Saint who worked as a tanner. He lived at the end of the 10th century. His name is related to a legend that said that he managed to move the Mokattam Mountain.

What does the garbage city mean?

This city is called the garbage city because it is one of the largest cities for collecting and sorting the garbage in Cairo. Its populations are working in recycling this garbage. 

Enjoy these amazing monuments in Cairo with Explore Egypt Tours by submitting on Cairo Day Tours.

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