Coptic Cairo - Hanging Church, Cairo
The Hanging Church - which is also known as El Muallaqa - is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. its name comes from its location: on top
of the southern tower gate of the old Babylon with its nave suspended above the passage.
Muallaqa means suspended, and inside the church there are places where you can look down and see it being really suspended. The church has some really interesting icons to show to the visitor, as well as an impressive timber wagon-vaulted roof.
When we visited it, we were impressed by the noise of the people - very unlike European churches. All over the church, and especially outside in the garden, there were several children playing and happily screaming. We found it refreshing - deprived of the imposed seriousness of our churches.
This is Cairo's most famous church may have been orifginally built in 684 on the top of Roman walls. There is a nice view from the stairs towrd the yard. Its decorated with wood-works on the top of the boundary wall.
The church was first built, in Basilcan style, near the end of the 4th century.
The church consists of a courtyard surrounded by two wings with pointed arches, and a long aisle lined with marble columns. In the eastern wing, there are three altars (haykals) with beautiful ebony and ivory inlaid wooden screens. The center alter is dedicated to Christ, while the left sanctuary is dedicated to St. George and the right to St John the Baptist. On the right wall of the church as you enter are many ancient icons, including a 10th century icon of the Virgin and Child, Egyptian faces and Byzantine crowns.
"Hanging church" was shelter for the Holy Family on their trip through Egypt. There you can see everything about it. You can also buy posters and books about it or some other things which explain Copt's life and culture.
This is from the inside of the Hanging Church. You will notice the pulpit with white columns. One is colored black representing Judas. The vaulted ceilings are intricately decorated. You can walk over to the right hand side through a small door. There you will be able to get a glimpse through the window of the Roman Tower, and under the floor of the water way that makes the church "hang".
The Hanging Church (El Muallaqa) was first built, in Basilcan style, in the 3rd or 4th century. The main church is thought to have been built between the 5th and 6th centuries with the southeastern section called the 'upper church' being added later. The church was destroyed in the 9th century. It was rebuilt in the 11th century and became the seat of the Coptic patriarchate until the 14th century. The Hanging Church shares ground with the Coptic Museum.
4.Visit the Christian Coptic church 'Al-Muaallaqah' (4th or 5th century AD) near the south gate of the Roman 'Fortress of Babylon'. http://www.touregypt.net/hangingchurch.htm
Visit 'The Hanging Church' 'Al Moallaka' Coptic Church in Old Cairo:
The picture of the map of the travels of the holy family comes from a famous Coptic Church called the 'Hanging Church.' The Hanging Church is one of a number of ancient Coptic churches located in the earliest sector of Cairo known today as Old Cairo.
The city grew up around a Roman fort called Babylon. The Hanging Church, in Arabic el-Muallaqa, is dedicated to St. Mary. It was given its name because the wooden floor of the late third century structure was constructed across the towers of the ancient Roman fortress. The church is filled with remarkable works of art but is endangered by the rising water and sewage table in Old Cairo. There are projects under review to preserve this important.
EL-MU'ALLAQA: The hanging church, Cairo. Cairo's most famous church, may have been originally built in the 7th century on the site of an older 4th century church. Built on top of the Roman walls.
The Hanging Church on Mari Girgis street is a pretty reminder of Christianity in Cairo. The ancient Coptic branch of Christianity survives well here in Egypt -some 10% of Egyptions are Christian
On the right hand side in the church, there is window on the floor. Through it, you can see foundations of the church which was built on the foundations of old Roman foundation.
This church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is one of the most beautiful churches in Cairo. One of the oldest as well, named for the Roman water way that ran underneath.