Hanging Church
Cairo • Egypt

From: Cairo Travel Guide

See also: Coptic MuseumCitadel


Hanging Church, Cairo, Egypt
The Hanging Church is also known as St Mary's Church (Sitt Mariam) after its dedication to the Virgin Mary. The church gained its name due to being built above the gate house tower of the old Fortress of Babylon, which leaves the Nave of the church famously suspended or hanging over the passage of the Gate house.

The Hanging Church was built around the 7th century on the site of where there had been other previous church's and has been rebuilt and modified several times. The church became of great importance in 11th century when it became the official seat of residence for the Coptic Church.

To enter the church you must first pass through the impressive stone archway which is beautifully decorated with carvings and leads on into a courtyard which has wall mosaics on either side and a set of 29 steps which takes you on into the church itself.

Inside, the church is beautifully decorated with ebony screens which have been inlaid with ivory and there are also well over 100 religious icons. There are several marble columns on either side of the interior isle which symbolise the disciples, with one of the column's black to symbolise Judas. There are also three alters which are in dedication to St John the Baptist, St Mar Guirguis and the Virgin Mary.

Many of the Church's precious possessions are safely on display at the Coptic Museum which is close by.

Attraction Location Guide
The church is located close to the Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo which is about 5 kilometers away from the centre of Cairo.