The St. Mark's Church in Abbasiya is one of the most important ecclesiastical castles in the Middle East, and it has a great place in the hearts of the Copts, as there is a special cemetery for St. Mark Carus (preacher) in the Egyptian homes.
Mark's remains were returned from the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice, Italy, which were received by a papal delegation headed by Anba Morcos, Metropolitan of Abotig, from Pope Paul VI - Pope of the Vatican - on June 22, 1968.
The history of St. Mark's Church goes back 50 years, specifically in 1968, after it was established during the reign of the late Pope Cyril VI, and in the presence of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia.
Gamal Abdel Nasser
The cathedral was built on an area of 6,200 square meters and was the largest cathedral in the Middle East at the time. Its establishment cost about 350,000 Egyptian pounds. The late President Gamal Abdel Nasser contributed 167,000 pounds, which he made a donation to the church.
The cathedral was designed in the form of a cross, designed by the famous architect Michel Bakhoum, and its construction was carried out by the General Nile Company for Reinforced Concrete.
The opening day of St. Mark's Church was busy, as President Gamal Abdel Nasser attended the inauguration, which was held next to the new cathedral, accompanied by Emperor Haile Selassie, Hussein El-Shafei, Vice President of the Republic, Anwar El-Sadat, Speaker of the National Assembly, and Abdel-Khaleq Hassouna, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
Archdeacon Fouad Shafik, one of the contemporaries of the establishment of the cathedral in 1968, attended the inauguration of the renovation work of the cathedral last year. He also participated in the enthronement mass of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II. The renovation work inside and outside the cathedral, as well as the cathedral’s own lighthouse, included the weight of the iron used to reach 160 tons, and it included 200 icons.