After visiting the Hanging Church, we went to check out the Tower of Babylon a little closer, before paying the 100 Egyptian pound entrance fee to go into the Coptic Museum. The Coptic museum is filled of Christian artifacts from all over Egypt and includes many pieces of stonework, clothing and many other assorted items. The highlight of the Coptic museum was certainly the architecture, the carved ceilings and elaborate stained glass windows.
Next we visited the booksellers alley near St.George, on our way to Saint Sergius and Bacchus Church. This Church is famous as being the place where the Holy Family hid from Herod. You can see the well that the Holy Family used as well as go into the crypts where they stayed. This church was a definite highlight, and we would recommend visiting it!
Next we tried to see the oldest Synagogue in Africa, but it was closed for construction. We briefly popped into the Church of Saint Barbara, but it was very busy with patrons, so we left.
We stopped into St.George’s Monastery to visit a small church that was a shrine to a young martyr girl. The chains the martyr wore were there on display, so people could adorn them and feel her penance. It was a very moving display.
Next we walked a bit outside the Coptic Quarter to visit the Mosque of Amr ibn-Al As, the Oldest Mosque in Africa. The call to prayer was just ending, so lots of people were leaving as we were waiting to go in. A really nice security guard said we were welcome to come in, and showed us the way. We left our shoes at the entrance and I covered my head. The mosque was HUGE, but heavily under construction. It was built in 642 I believe. The guard read us lots of translated facts about the Mosque off of his phone, and let us take some photos. There were 365 pillars in the Mosque for the days of the year, 12 windows for the months and many other important numbers. As we were paying 3EGP to get our shoes, the guard told us to follow him around the front of the Mosque and showed us a great place to get a picture despite the construction. We gave the guard 5 EGP and headed back to the metro to return to our hotel for a bit.