Old Cairo, also known as Historic Cairo or Coptic Cairo, is a treasure trove of history and culture. This part of the city is rich in religious and historical significance, and it's a must-visit for travelers interested in Egypt's Coptic Christian heritage and Islamic architecture. Here are some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Old Cairo:
Hanging Church (Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church): This ancient church is one of the most important Coptic Christian landmarks in Egypt. Its name comes from its location above a gatehouse of the Babylon Fortress, and it's renowned for its beautiful wooden screen and intricate icons.
Coptic Museum: Located adjacent to the Hanging Church, this museum houses an extensive collection of Coptic Christian artifacts, including manuscripts, textiles, sculptures, and religious items.
Saint Sergius and Bacchus Church (Abu Serga): This church is believed to be built on the spot where the Holy Family rested during their flight to Egypt. It's one of the oldest Coptic churches in Cairo.
Ben Ezra Synagogue: This historic synagogue has a rich history and is known for its peaceful interior. It's believed to be built on the site where the baby Moses was found in the Nile River.
Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque: This mosque, dating back to the 7th century, is one of the oldest mosques in Egypt and Africa. It's named after Amr Ibn Al-As, the Arab general who conquered Egypt.
Babylon Fortress: Explore the remains of the ancient Roman fortress of Babylon, which was a strategic military installation during ancient times. Some parts of the fortress can still be seen in Old Cairo.
Church of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus: This Coptic Orthodox church is known for its unique architecture and beautiful icons. It's one of the oldest churches in Cairo.
Cave Church (St. Simon the Tanner Monastery): Located in the Mokattam Hills, this church is carved into the rock and offers panoramic views of Cairo. It's an impressive architectural feat.
Saint George's Church (Mar Girgis): This beautiful Coptic Orthodox church is dedicated to Saint George and is known for its stunning stained glass windows.
Old Cairo Gates: Explore the historic gates of Old Cairo, including Bab Zuweila and Bab al-Futuh, which are well-preserved and offer a glimpse into the city's medieval past.
Al-Hussein Mosque: Located in the heart of Old Cairo, this mosque is a significant religious site for Muslims. It's known for its vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the Khan El Khalili Bazaar.
Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church (Maadi): Located in the Maadi district of Cairo, this church features beautiful stained glass windows and is a peaceful retreat from the city's hustle and bustle.