Coptic Cairo The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church or the Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Church

The Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in the history of Egypt. A church on this site has existed since the 3rd century AD. BC, and belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The church is named after an ancient Roman fortress the gatehouse of Babylon. ship is suspended above the passage of this gate. The ground surface has risen by 6 meters since Roman times and is therefore largely buried underground.

The building has 2 bell towers that can be seen from the courtyard. To get to the entrance, you need to climb a staircase of 29 steps. Once inside, you enter another courtyard and here is the 11th century porch.

Coptic Cairo The Hanging Church is the first church built in Cairo in the Basilica style.

The church was built by Isaac 690-692. Although it is quite possible that there was an older building from the 3rd or 4th century. Although the oldest statement is by Joseph I from 831-849. During this time the governor of Egypt visited the church. The church was largely rebuilt by Pope Abraham in 975-978. Major repairs were also carried out in 2011 and valuable artefacts were moved to the Coptic Museum.

The Church has 110 icons, the oldest of which dates from the 8th century but most of which date from the 18th century. Nakhla al Barady gave several away as gifts in 1898, when he was superintendent of the church.

The iconostasis in the central sanctuary is made of ebony and inlaid with ivory. Icons with the Virgin Mary and the 12 apostles frame the whole.

The main altar in Arabic Haikal is made of ebony inlaid with ivory, in which the Coptic cross is carved and dates from the 12th or 13th century. Above the altar are 7 large icons. Of which in the middle is Christ seated on his throne. On one side, there are icons depicting Mary, the earth angel Gabriel, and St. Peter. Peter on the other side St. John the Baptist , Archangel Michael and St. John the Baptist . Paul.

One of the altars is built on 13 columns. They represent Christ with his 12 disciples. But 1 column is darker than the rest and this column represents Judas. This altar is used only on Palm Sunday. The ceiling of the church hall is supposed to represent Noah’s ark.

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