Hanging Church of Cairo. Also known as the Church of the Virgin Mary or El Muallaqa, it is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and is located in its capital, Cairo. Its name is due to the fact that it is built on the Roman Babylonian fortress, above which palm tree trunks were placed, with a layer of stones, to form the floor of the chapel.
Although the first travelers called it "the Church of the Staircase" for having to climb 29 steps to reach it. Since Roman times the ground level has risen six meters so that the tower is mostly buried, so the elevated position of the church is less appreciated.
The church dates from the 9th century, but it is believed that the site was first occupied by the church in the 3rd century, making it one of the oldest Christian religious sites in Egypt, rather, it is considered the most beautiful of the old churches in the area.
Coptic Cairo is a unique area that has a concentration of Christian churches and other sites dating back to the centuries between the decline of the Pharaonic religion and the arrival of Islam when Egypt had a Christian majority.
When entering the Hanging Church, what is most striking are its tall white marble columns, among which a black basalt stands out. Inside, we can also admire the beautiful decoration of the ceiling of its main nave, as well as the Corinthian decorations on the columns, which give the construction an even older look
One of the most important parts of the interior of this temple is its marble pulpit dating from the thirteenth century and which has 13 pillars, which represent Jesus and the Apostles, one of them black representing Judas and one gray, representing Tomás doubts. There are six other churches here that date back to the early Christian era. The Hanging Church is the deepest in Coptic Cairo but there are other older churches, including the Church of St. Sergius, which dates back to the 5th century and was built on the site of a crypt where the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) took refuge during their time in Egypt.
You can also see the Coptic museum, which has the largest collection of Coptic Christian art and artifacts in the world. Founded in 1910, the museum records Coptic history from the arrival of Christianity in Egypt to the Ottoman era, displaying a mix of works of art influenced by Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman traditions.
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