The Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, is one of the oldest churches in Egypt. It is located in the heart of Coptic Cairo, near the famous Coptic Museum and the Babylon Fortress. The church is called the “Hanging Church” because it is built on top of the southern gate of the Roman fortress of Babylon, and its nave is suspended above the ground.
The exact date of the church’s construction is unknown, but it is believed to have been built in the 7th century during the Coptic period in Egypt. Some historians also suggest that it may have been established even earlier, as early as the 3rd century. It was rebuilt and reconstructed several times throughout history due to various destruction and restoration activities.
The Hanging Church holds great religious and historical significance for Copts, who are the indigenous Christian community of Egypt. It is the seat of the Coptic Pope and the center of Coptic Christianity in Cairo. The church has witnessed numerous religious and political events throughout its history, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods.
The church’s architecture is a blend of different styles, reflecting the various cultural influences it has experienced over the centuries. The interior of the church is adorned with beautiful wooden screens, icons, and relics that are of great religious importance to Copts. The church also has several chapels dedicated to different saints, as well as a bell tower and a courtyard.
The Hanging Church has undergone extensive restoration and preservation efforts in recent years to maintain its historical and religious significance. It attracts both locals and tourists alike who visit to admire its unique architecture, explore its rich history, and participate in religious services and ceremonies.
Overall, the Hanging Church is not only a remarkable architectural gem but also a living testament to the long and resilient history of Christianity in Egypt.