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Jun 9, 2010 - Cairo    5 Comments

The Fortress of Babylon (Cairo, Egypt)

Get There: Take the metro to Mar Girgis station – the fortress is located in front of the station entrance.

Babylon Fortress was an ancient fortress city or castle in the Delta of Egypt – the largest fortress ever built by the Romans -  located at Babylon in the area today known as Coptic Cairo. It was at the boundary between Lower and Middle Egypt, where the river craft paid tolls when ascending or descending the Nile.

The Fort of Babylon contains several of the Copts’ oldest churches , which are built into or on its walls. These include El-Muallaqa (the Hanging Church) and the Greek Church of St. George.  A number of other Coptic churches are nearby. The area is called Old, or Coptic Cairo (Masr el Atika), for this is indeed the oldest part of the city, and the remains of the fort are Cairo proper’s oldest original structure. Indeed, Cairo owes its existence to this fort.

The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church, built in 690, is situated on two bastions of the Roman fortress and its nave is suspended over a passageway.  The church is free to enter and open daily from 0900 – 1600 (except during services).

The Greek Church of St. George

The Church of St. George dates to the 10th century or earlier. However, the current structure on the site was built in the early 20th century, having been rebuilt after a 1904 fire. The Church is open to the public daily from 0900 – 1700, however the monastery is not open to the public.

5 Comments

  • [...] Get There: The Ben Ezra Synagogue is located close to the Mar Girgis metro station (behind the Hanging Church). [...]

  • [...] of Old Cairo still have the feel of an island set apart from the rest of the city.  Visit The Roman Fortress of Babylon, Ben Ezra Synagogue, Saints Serguis and Bacchus Church and the Coptic Museum for a look into [...]

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