Religious Complex in Cairo
Three Religions in One Place
A mystical spot in the heart of Cairo where the Quran, Bible and Torah are continuously recited. The complex houses various churches, mosques and a Jewish Synagogue. The complex is honored to have been one of the Egyptian stops in the Journey of the Holy Family. Amr Ibn El Aas built the first mosque in Egypt at this spiritual spot, in 642 AD upon the arrival of Islam. And therefore, the complex serves as a perfect display of the three Ibrahimic religions.
Must-See Masterpieces of the Christian Art in the Coptic Museum
The oldest structure known in this complex is the Babylonian Fort, which was built during the early Roman occupation in Egypt and enlarged during the reign of Emperor Trajan. It is considered one of the best-preserved military structures. The western part of the original structure was composed of two circular towers connected by a drawbridge. The modern Coptic Museum is embraced by one of the towers.
Feel the Presence of the Holy Family
While the Roman Orthodox Monastery and Church of St. George was built on top of the southern tower. The Church enshrines the relics of Saint George, who, according to Christian beliefs, was martyred during the reign of the Persian King Dadianos, because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
The martyr was tortured to death, and among the instruments was a chain to which he was tied during his tortures. According to local tradition, his chain is a cause of blessing because it was put on the body of the martyr where his blood ran.
The nearby Saint Sergius and Saint Bacchus Church is one of the important spots in the Journey of the Holy Family. The Basilica-styled building was erected above the cave which the Holy Family rested at for about three months. The cave contains a natural well, which the Holy Family drank from, and traces of the place where Jesus used to sleep.
A little bit to the south lies the current building of the Hanging Church. It is one of the oldest churches in Egypt. It was constructed above one of the Babylonian fortress walls, and thus acquired its unique naming. During the eleventh century, the Pope Christodolos of Alexandria moved the official residence of the Coptic Patriarch to the Hanging Church.
Jewish Presence in Egypt
The Religious Complex embraces one of the important Jewish Synagogues in Egypt, Ben Azra Synagogue. According to Jewish beliefs, Moses was raised here, and from this spot he spread his holy message to enlighten people.
The Earliest Islamic Spot in Egypt
Far to the north, the Mosque of Amr Ibn El Aas was built in 642 AD, as the center of the first Muslim Capital in Egypt (El-Fustat). The Mosque was rebuilt over time, the original mosque was built using palm trees, mudbrick and palm leaves for the roof. The current building is rectangular; a central ablution open area surrounded by four Riwaqs, the largest of them is the Qibla Riwaq to the east.