Sunday, February 14, 2010

Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo

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All in all, this was a great weekend, الحمد لله! I got a lot of sight-seeing done and took plenty of pictures to share! One of the places I went was Coptic Cairo. Coptic Cairo is rich in Christian history, it is where the Romans built the fortress city Babylon. Coptic Cairo held many religious sites but the 2 that stand out the most to me are the Ben Ezra Synagogue that served Egypt's once thriving Jewish population. A synagogue in the center of the Christian part of a Muslim city is truly unique. The architecture of the synagogue also lends itself more to the style of Christian churches from the period than a synagogue. 

The Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary was also very interesting. The church itself is unique because the vanilla structure seems to look down at you from the top of the staircase. It's beautiful in its simplicity. Inside are tributes to the Christian patriarchs. The highlight of this church is the cave leading to where the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and their midwife Salome) sought refuge refuge and live after they fled from Israel (Mathew 2:13 - 21).



Islamic Cairo refers more to a broad area that a specific sight. I didn't spend as much time there as I did at Coptic Cairo. El Hussein Mosque stands imposingly at the "entrance" of Islamic Cairo. Because I went on a Friday, I was not able to enter the structure during prayer service. I stopped by  The Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar near it but didn't spend much time there. If you like haggling over prices, being continuously hassled, crowds/tourists, and souvenirs, it's the place for you!

1 comment:

Concept said...

These pics are really cool France!I wish you got a chance to see where the Holy Family sought refuge.

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