13 April 2024 03:44 PM

Churches and Monasteries

Wednesday، 15 June 2022 11:29 AM

During the Coptic era, Egypt knew the arts, architecture, and other cultural manifestations characteristic of that stage, which came influenced by the Pharaonic civilization and continued with the Greco-Roman characteristics to add an important link in cultural communication on the land of Egypt, and many Coptic and Christian monuments are spread throughout Egypt, Cairo, Sinai, oases and Fayoum. The following is a review of a group of the most important churches and monasteries scattered in the land of Egypt, which contain many monasteries and churches, including:

  Churches:

Hanging Church:

The Hanging Church is in the Old Cairo district, in the middle of a group of Coptic monuments and opens with its main façade on St. George Street.

This church was known as the Hanging Church because it is based on the ruins of two large towers of the Roman fortress built by Emperor Trajan at the beginning of the second century AD. And access to it through stairs erected close to the middle tower has won that church famous because it is considered one of the oldest surviving churches in Egypt.

In the late Umayyad period (749 AD), the church buildings were damaged and then renovated in the caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, as mentioned in the biography of St. Mark in the history of the patriarchs, and all the churches of the region were rebuilt at that time.

The architecture of this church was also renewed in the caliphate of Al-Aziz Billah Al-Fatimid when Patriarch Ephrem the Syriac was allowed to renovate all the churches of Egypt and what was destroyed from them, and the church was renewed again in the Fatimid era as well.

Abu Sarja Church:

This church was established in the late fourth or early fifth centuries and is probably built in the same place as the Holy Family when it fled to Egypt from the face of Herod, king of the Jews.

It is no less important from the historical and artistic point of view than the hanging church and was the first church in Egypt after the monastery of Abu Makar where the patriarchs hold the mass after their consecration in Alexandria.

This church was demolished in the tenth century AD and rebuilt again in the Fatimid era, and the remains of this church were found in carved stones and a door that expresses the splendor of Coptic art in the fourth century and has all been transferred to the Coptic Museum.

St. George's Church:

This church was one of the most beautiful churches of the Roman fortress, and according to some sources, it was built by the wealthy writer Athanasius around 684 ADS, but unfortunately it was consumed by fire eighty years ago and a new church was built in its place. Only a reception hall known as the "Bridal Hall" remains of the old church dating back to the fourteenth century.

The hall, which is approximately 15 meters long and 12 meters wide, is divided into "hall" and "iwanin". In the tribal iwan, some wooden windows with bas-reliefs, and its walls are decorated with bas-reliefs of plaster and with colorful drawings on their ceilings.

Church of Our Lady of Barbara:

St. Barbara's Church is located within the walls of the fortress of Babylon, and is located below ground level by about one and forty-two centimeters, and can be reached by descending several steps on a stone ladder, the church is rectangular in shape, and a flat length of about twenty-six and a half meters and a width of about fourteen and a half meters.

St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya

St. Mark's Cathedral, known as St. Mark's Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasiya, is the second largest cathedral in the Orthodox world and the oldest in Africa and the Middle East, and it is the destination of all Coptic Orthodox in the world.

St. Mark's Cathedral was built on the land of Anba Ruwais in the Abbasiya neighborhood in central Cairo and is the largest cathedrals in the world and its name goes back to St. Mark, who was a follower of Christ first and is likely to have been born in Jerusalem, but he set off on a missionary journey that brought him to Egypt, where he settled in Alexandria, the Pope's residence.

The late President Gamal Abdel Nasser had donated several thousand pounds to build it in the sixties of the last century, and laid the foundation stone himself on July 24, 1965, in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, along with the Pope of Alexandria and the preaching of St. Mark at the time, Bishop Cyril VI.

Contents:  The cathedral contains many church buildings and services, and includes two churches in the name of the Virgin below the cathedral, the Church of the Virgin Mary and Anba Royce, the Church of Our Lady and Anba Bishoy, the Church of St. Anthony in the papal residence, the Church of St. Maurice and St. Verena, the Church of St. Paula and St. Samuel, in addition to the churches of the Episcopal services, and the walls of these buildings tell about many events, visits and celebrations.

Designed   in the form of a cross and the two engineers Dr. Awad Kamel and Selim Kamel Fahmy won in the competition for drawing and designing the cathedral, and the structural design was implemented by Dr. Michel Bakhoum, the most famous structural engineer in Egypt, and the Nile General Company for Reinforced Concrete "SEPCO" implemented the giant building of the cathedral, where the cathedral was designed in the form of a cross.

Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ

 Coptic Cathedral in the New Administrative Capital, Egypt. The cathedral was inaugurated on the sixth of January 2019 during the celebration of Christmas and during the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Pope Tawadros II, and this cathedral is the largest size and capacity in the Middle East, as it is located on an area of 63,000 square meters and can accommodate more than 8,000 people.

Church of Mary in Zeitoun

A large church located in the Zeitoun district, Cairo, Egypt, built in 1924 in a miniature shape from the famous Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul, Turkey. The church was built by Tawfiq Bey Khalil Ibrahim under the supervision of the Italian engineer Lemon Gilli in a miniature shape from the famous Hagia Sophia Church in Istanbul, Turkey, after a vision in which the Virgin Mary announced that she would appear in her church The church was completed in 1924 and was inaugurated and dedicated to prayer on Sunday, 29 June 1925 headed by Bishop Athanasius, the deceased Bishop of Beni Suef, and the church was decorated from the inside with wonderful inscriptions of the Virgin Mary and multiple icons painted by Italian artists specially prepared for this purpose, and the church remained in this quiet neighborhood, which was old on the outskirts of the Cairo area.

Monasteries:

St. Catherine's Monastery

The monastery is located at the bottom of Mount Sinai, in a rugged mountainous area that nature has loved with breathtaking beauty with a pleasant climate and freshwater quality. To the west of the monastery is Wadi al-Raha.

The monastery has a great wall surrounding several internal buildings on top of each other, sometimes up to four floors, penetrated by crooked corridors and corridors. The monastery is built like medieval fortresses, and its wall is built with granite stones and has towers in the corners and the height of its walls is between 12 and 15 meters. Its side lengths are approximately 117 * 80 * 77 * 76 meters.

The construction of the monastery dates back to the fourth century AD when Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine in 342 AD, ordered the construction of a monastery containing a church known as the Church of the Virgin at the site of the sacred tree or the inflamed bush. In the sixth century AD, Emperor Justinian ordered the construction of a church in this same spot known as the Church of the Transfiguration.

Monastery of St. Anthony

The first monastery established in the world and its name is attributed to Bishop Anthony, who is considered by the Egyptian Copts the first monks in the world and the father of all monks, the current head of the monastery is Bishop Justus.

It is located at the foot of Mount Galala tribal desert in the Arab desert in Egypt, and can be reached through Suez and from there to Ras Ghareb and then west in the desert at Ain Sokhna or from Beni Suef east desert road (unpaved) or can be reached from Cairo through Helwan to Karimat and then Zafarana and the monastery is located before Zafarana about 48 km and the monastery (monastery road) about 17 km.

The original area of 18 acres was added to another 350 acres within the ownership of the monastery after solving a problem that was disputed with the governorate recently, which stipulated the purchase of the monastery for 350 acres and made another 150 acres between a tree forest.

Monastery of St. Paula - Deir Al-Muharraq

Located  in the Red Sea Governorate, one of the  oldest Egyptian monasteries. It was established in the late fourth century AD and the beginning of the fifth century.It is located west of one of the High Galala Mountains and surrounded by high plateaus, a spot from which the Copts say the Hebrews crossed with the prophet Moses to the Red Sea when they left Egypt. It is connected by the Suez-Ras Ghareb Road (the beginning of the Red Sea Riviera), or from Beni Suef.

Monastery of Anba Hadra

The Monastery of St. Simeon in Aswan is one of the ancient Coptic Orthodox monasteries. It is one of the largest Coptic monasteries in the world, dating back to the sixth century. Its original name is "Anba Hadra Monastery", and due to the lack of water after a century of its construction, the monastery was abandoned and left for several years without prejudice to it.It was established before the sixth century AD and restored in the tenth century AD and is one of the most important Coptic monasteries throughout history, so many monks sheltered it when Christianity spread among the people of the kingdoms of Nubia and still maintains With inscriptions and drawings on its walls and representing the images of Christ and the saints, it is located on top of a hill south of Elephantine Island in Aswan. The monastery can be reached on foot and is located on the riverbank.


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