The Church of St. George in Coptic Cairo is the principal Greek Orthodox church of Egypt. It is built atop an old Roman tower and adjoins the Monastery of St. George.
History of St. George's Church
The Church of St. George was built in the 10th century, but a fire destroyed the original structure. The present church dates only from 1904.
What to See at St. George's Church
St. George is the only round church in Egypt, but unlike the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre and its many imitators (such as Rome's Santa Stefano Rotondo and London's Temple Church), 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.
Festivals and Events
St. George's celebration of the Moulid of Mari Girgis (St. George's Day) on April 23 is one of the largest Coptic festivals in Cairo - despite the fact that the church is Greek, not Coptic.
Quick Facts on St. George's Church
|Names:||Mari Girgis · St. George's Church|
|Categories:||churches; monasteries; central plan buildings; round buildings|
|Dates:||10th C; rebuilt|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||30.006387° N, 31.229952° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near St. George's Church|
- The Rough Guide to Egypt 6 (November 2005), 199.
Map of St. George's Church, Cairo
Below is a location map and aerial view of St. George's Church. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.