The Church of Saint Sergius and Bacchus



The Abu Serga church is known for being one of the oldest churches in the city of Cairo, dating back to the 5th century, although some historians instead determine its construction back to the 8th century A.D. For most visitors, the style of the structure is unique, just like the Hanging Church, the church of St. Sergius is also characterized by the two rows of columns that separate the side aisles from the main nave.


The Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, also known as the Church of Abu Serga was built over the ruins of the ancient Roman fortress of Babylon. The history of the church’s construction is in doubt, as some scholars believe it dates back to the end of the fourth and early fifth centuries A.D, while others see it as dating back to the seventeenth century A.D.

The church of St. Sergius or  Abu Serga was built in the center of the Ancient Roman fort of Babylon in Coptic Cairo  It is the ancient church built over the place where the Holy Family resided during the flight and has the cave of escape at the Temple. And its current location is what is known as the compound of religions in Old Cairo, inside the Roman fortress of Babylon near the Synagogue of Ben Ezra, one of the oldest Jewish temples in Egypt.

The church of St. Sergius dates back to the 5th Century and is considered one of the important churches and things to do in Cairo, although some historians believe that it was actually built in the 8th Century. The heart of Saint Sergius is unknown, but there are two saints with the identical title. The first one was an Egyptian who died during the Christian persecution, along with his father and sister. Today People honor his remembrance every year on the 7th of February. The second one was a servant of the Roman Emperor Maximilian, and he was martyred in Syria at the beginning of the 4th Century.

The church's form is that of a basilica with a narthex, a nave, and 2 aisles. They are separated from the nave by 12 columns with Corinthian capitals, 10 of stone, one of marble and one of rosette granite.

Horizontal projection: in the usual Basilica style, rectangular in shape with a length of 27 m, a width of 17 m, and the main nave. The height of the church as a whole is about 15 m from the inside. The main nave is one floor in height, and the side walkways consist of two floors. The main entrance to the church is located on the northwestern side, but it is not used, and the secondary entrances are also not used, but the user is now another entrance at the end of the western wall.

There are 3 Sanctuaries on the east side; each Sanctuary contains an altar, with a wooden dome, supported by 4 marble columns. The roof of each platform has religious views of 4 evangelists, Christ, and the Angels. There is a pulpit on the northeast side of the nave, which is made of marble, though originally it was made of wood, encrusted with ebony and ivory.

The pulpit is used once a year in the prayer of Great Friday. The wooden screen sanctuary dates back to the 13th century. It has tow panels of ebony and ivory.  

One of the most important parts of this church is the cave in which the Holy Family stayed during their journey into Egypt. It has a nave and 2 aisles and the ceiling is domed. At the end of the southern aisle of the Cave, is a baptistery. 

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The Church is a must-see place included in our Coptic Cairo tours or any Cairo Day Tours.

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