Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary)

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary), Cairo

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary)

Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary)
4.5
Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites
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This church, originally built in the ancient fortress of Babylon in Old Cairo around 4th century AD, derives its name from its location suspended above two Roman gate towers.
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4.5
786 reviews
Excellent
464
Very good
257
Average
59
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Jazzumbo
Romania1,578 contributions
While approaching the church from the street you can’t see anything that could explain its name (Hanging Church). It is actually built on top of the ruins of two antique Roman gate towers. The ruins, part of the former Roman fortress of Babylon, are nowadays still visible through a small window in the church’s floor. However, the ruins of another tower from the citadel of Babylon can be spotted between the Hanging Church and the Coptic Museum, located nearby, on the same street.
The religious artifacts exposed in the church are antique and of great artistic value. It's like visiting a museum. The icon of Saint Mercurius and the one of Saint Nofer are among the most valuable pieces. Although the Coptic paintings exhibited here look a bit different from the Orthodox paintings of the Greek or Romanian churches, the visitor can detect the Byzantine touch.
Despite the recent renovation of the entire complex, the time capsule feeling is present. It's like travelling in time to the beginning of the Christian era, somewhere around Jerusalem. The ambiance is so serene, despite the groups of tourists and pilgrims.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CPaM68
Texas632 contributions
Although known as the Hanging Church, the official name is Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church. Founded in the third century, St. Mary’s is the oldest church in Cairo and as the name implies, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church is built over the ruins of a Roman fortress and inside the church, there is a room that has a section of glass on the floor where you can actually see the old ruins underneath. Some historians believe that these remnants are actually the fallen Tower of Babylon. This is not only a tourist attraction but is still an active church and is the official residence of the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The church is noted for having numerous religious works of art with most dating back to the 18th century. The guide of our tour explained the history and importance of the church and why it's called the "hanging church”. This historic place is fascinating. (PaM)
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

andoffigoagain
Tinton Falls, NJ611 contributions
the church is unique...inside of a car free part of the city surrounded by little shops and coffee places...we had a tour guide explain everything there is and then were able to walk around and take pictures...the visit took about half an hour
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ogerkan
New York City, NY4,343 contributions
The Hanging Church is build over two gate towers from a Roman fortress. It is more straddling than hanging actually. Once inside, very reminiscent of Byzantine orthodox churches elsewhere with the dark interior, woodwork and icons. Highlight of any itinerary of Cairo.
Written November 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chelsea
150 contributions
Couples
This church was really neat to see. When you walk in there is a section in the ground showing you how high up the church was built to get its name. There were also a ton of beautiful decor on the doors, using ebony and ivory. The church was free to get into.
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Severn
2,092 contributions
An ancient Coptic church built on the bastion and the Water Gate of a Roman fort. The building in its current form has been known approximately since the 7th century, the history dates back to the 4th century. It was rebuilt several times, recently restoration was carried out. Inside there is a carved wood and ivory iconostasis, a marble pulpit, old icons. Nice, quiet, peaceful.

Древняя коптская церковь, построенная на бастионе и Водных воротах римского форта. Здание в нынешнем виде известно ориентировочно с 7 века, история восходит к 4 веку. Неоднократно перестраивалась, недавно была проведена реставрация. Внутри находится резной иконостас из дерева и слоновой кости, мраморная кафедра, старые иконы. Красиво, тихо, умиротворенно.
Written December 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kadu Carrasco
Sao Paulo, SP577 contributions
We visited the church during mass. It was interesting. When we entered, the priest spoke to the congregation. There was too much incense of a very good smell. All women wore a veil.
We stayed there for a few minutes, even without understanding the language. As soon as we were leaving, a chorus singing began. It's worth visiting. And I believe that we were lucky to visit it at this time specifically. The church itself is small and there is not much to be seen.
Written December 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TTOverseas
Cairo, Egypt206 contributions
This is an important part of the "story" of Egypt. The Church itself is impressive, but the Tour Guide did a great job explaining the early Christian history and to put things into perspective, as Jesus is believed to have visited and traveled around Egypt.

This location is surrounded with history and is well worth the visit when in Cairo.
Written April 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Linda Y
Frisco, TX5,194 contributions
The Hanging Church is a Coptic Christian Church located in Coptic Cairo. The Church is named for the way it was built on top of the Water Gate of Roman Babylon (visible through the floor in the Baptistery). Our group waited for Mass to end before entering. The interior of the church is stunning! The iconostasis is made of ebony with ivory-inlaid screens with intricate geometric shapes and crosses. There are over 100 icons and pieces of artwork on display, including the highly revered ‘Coptic Mona Lisa’ from the 8th century that has been attributed to miracles. There is also a collection of saints’ relics that are prayed over. The marble pulpit dates to the 5th century. A church has been at this location since the 3rd century. Through the centuries, the Hanging Church has been rebuilt and restored, most recently in 2011.
Written April 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ukienomad
Fleming Island, FL6,360 contributions
Friends
Located in Coptic Old Cairo, Hanging Church, named because it was built above a Roman fortress, and it’s nave is suspended over a passageway. The Churchof St. Sergiusis where, according to the Bible, Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus stayed three months after their escape to Egypt from King Herod’s wrath. You go downstairs to the basement where you’ll see where they stayed. The church is beautiful and very different than a lot of others in Egypt. I highly recommend it. It’s not a huge church but plenty to see and you can use your camera without paying (which seems to be the common thing here in Egypt). Just a way to make more money I guess. But do come here and take a look at this magnificent church.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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