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St. George's Church
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Quick Facts on St. George's Church

Short URL
gohist.co/s/318753
Names
Mari Girgis St. George's Church St. George's Church, Cairo
Address
Cairo, Urban Region
Location
Cairo  locality
Al-Qāhirah  county
Urban Region  state
Egypt  country
Africa  continent
Main date(s)
10th C; rebuilt
Coordinates
30.006387° N, 31.229952° E
Admission
Free

Description of St. George's Church

St. George is the only round church in Egypt, but unlike Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its many imitators, this is only for practical reasons - it is built atop the foundations of a Roman round tower.

Inside, the dark interior is heavy with incense and pierced by sunbeams that filter through its stained glass windows. A (closed) flight of steps leads down into the old Roman tower, once believed to be "peopled by devils."

Next door, the Monastery of St. George is now the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria. The monastery rarely admits tourists.

Confusingly, just down the road is another Church of St. George and a Convent of St. George, the latter of which opens its chapel to visitors (daily 9-4) and has some English-speaking nuns. Both of these institutions are Coptic Orthodox.

Holly Hayes
October 26, 2011

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