within the area of Old Cairo

The Mid-Cairo

Setting out next towards Old Cairo, the Holy Family rested for a while in Zeitoun, on their way; then proceeded along a course which traverses what are now crowded, bustling quarters of Cairo, within which the serene landmarks of an earlier Coptic heritage still stand, marking the paths the Holy Family followed. A listing of these landmarks, at this point, may be of pertinent interest:

  • The Church of Virgin Mary in Zuweila Alley
  • The Church of St George the Martyr

The Central Cairo

  • The Church of St. Mercurios Abu Sefein.

  • The Convent of the Virgin Mary

  • The Convent of St George

In the down-town district of Clot Bey:

  • The Cathedral of St Mark in Ezbekieh.

  • Numerous churches attached to the Cairo headquarters of many of Egypt‘s monasteries.

  • The Church of the Virgin Mary (known by the name: Ezbaweya)

The Old Cairo

The area now called Old Cairo, known as Misr El Kadmia, is among the most important locations visited by the Holy Family where the spiritual impact of their presence is most felt still; though their stay was brief, for the Governor of what was then Fustat – enraged by the tumbling down of idols at Jesus’s approach – sought to kill the Child. But they took shelter from his wrath in a cave above which, in later years, the Church of Abu Serga (St Sergius) was built. This, and the whole area of the Fort of Babylon, is a destination of pilgrimage not only for the Egyptians but for Christians from around the world. An air of piety and devotion pervades the whole district.

Here, too, it is useful to list the sites which visitors to the fortress of Babylon section of Old Cairo take in:

  • The Church of Abu Serga and the Crypt of the Holy Family beneath it.
  • Al-Muallaqa (Hanging Church), dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Patriarchal seat of the Coptic Church in the early centuries
  • The Church of St Barbara
  • The Church of St George (in the Palace of Waxworks)
  • The Church of the Virgin identified by its alternative name of Qasriet Al-Rihan (Basil Pot).
  • The Covent of St George
  • The Coptic Museum and the ramparts of the Fortress of Babylon
  • The Greek Orthodox Church of St George
  • The Jewish Synagogue of Ben Ezra

The Fustat section of Old Cairo, which lies west of the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas, includes:

  • The Church of St Mercurlos Abu Sefein
  • The Church of Amba Shenouda
  • The Church of the Vlrgln Mary of Al-Demshiria.
  • The Convent of Abu Sefeln.
  • The Church of the Virgin of Babylon El Darag.
  • The Church of Saints Abakir and Yohanna.
  • The Church of Prince Tadros Al Mishriqi.
  • The Church of the Archangel Mikhail (known also as Al-Malak Al-Qibli-or “Southern Angel”).
  • The Church of St. Mena in Zahraa – Misr El Kadima.