St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria is the seat of the Pope of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The cathedral is said to stand on the site of the church founded by St. Mark the Evangelist in 60 AD.


History of St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

St. Mark the Evangelist (author of the second Gospel) has been connected with the city of Alexandria since earliest Christian tradition. Coptic Christians believe he arrived in Alexandria around 60 AD and stayed for about seven years.

During this time, Mark converted many to Christianity and performed miracles. He is considered the founder of the church in Alexandria and the first Bishop of Alexandria. According to tradition, St. Mark was arrested during a festival of Serapis in 68 AD and martyred by being dragged through the streets. He was buried under the church he had founded.

In 828, the body of St. Mark was stolen from the Alexandrian church by Venetians to be enshrined in the grand new St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. However, the head of the saint remained in Alexandria and every newly-appointed Patriarch of Alexandria began his service with holding the holy head of St. Mark in his lap and changing its cloth shroud.

The head of St. Mark was moved around a great deal over the centuries, and has been lost for over 250 years. Some of the relics from the body of St. Mark, however, were returned to Alexandria from Rome in 1968.

What to See at St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

The present St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral is of recent date, but is said to stand on the site of church founded by St. Mark himself.

Quick Facts on St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

Site Information
Names:Morkosia · St. Marcos Orthodox Church · St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church · St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral
Dedication: St. Mark
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:31.198280° N, 29.899898° E
Address:Alexandria, Egypt
Lodging:View hotels near St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Saint-Mark Coptic Orthodox Church - official website
  2. Apostle Mark - OrthodoxWiki
  3. The Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt - Encyclopedia Coptica
  4. The Church of Alexandria - Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. The Beholder of God Mark the Evangelist, Saint and Martyr by H.H. Pope Shenouda III (English translation)

More Information

Inside St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. © St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral
Another interior view of St. Mark's. © GFDL

Map of St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral

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