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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #401
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COPTIC CAIRO

Coptic Cairo is the modern name for the oldest part of the city. For several centuries following the decline of the old Pharaonic religions and before the arrival of Islam, Eqypt was a predominantly Christian country. Alexandria was then the country's capital, while Cairo had yet to be founded. Around 6th century AD the site of the city consisted of little more than a Roman fortress beside the Nile. When Arab general Amr Ibn al-Aas set up camp in its shadow and built a capital nearby, he was placing the marker for the future foundation of Cairo. Known today as Old Cairo, this ancient part of the city contains a bastion of Egyptian Christianity, known as Coptic Cairo.

A stepped entrance to the north leads along a sunken alley to the rest of the churches, the synagogue and the cemeteries. Conservation work is ongoing in various locations across Coptic Cairo.







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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:46 AM   #402
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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #403
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The Greek Orthodox Church of St George is built upon the Northern Roman Tower and is flanked by a cemetery. There has been a church dedicated to St George on or near the site since at least the 10th century, but today's striking round structure dates only to the beginning of the 20th century.





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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #404
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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #405
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The circular form of the church echoes the shape of the 1st century AD Roman gate tower on top of which it was built.





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Old April 5th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #406
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Old April 5th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #407
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The Coptic Convent of St George dates back at least as far as the 15th century when it was written about by the Arab chronicler Al-Maqrizi. Nuns still live at the convent but visitors are permitted to enter the Great Hall where there is a shrine with a famed icon of St George. The convent is also known for its unusual chain-wrapping ritual still practiced by the nuns. The chains symbolize the persecution of St George.








TO BE CONTINUED...
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #408
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Coptic Cairo is a haven of quiet, sunken and narrow lanes that lead to ancient holy places.





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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #409
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #410
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The Church of St Sergius and St Bacchus is the oldest church in Coptic Cairo. Since the church was built, ground levels have risen. it is now entered down some steps. Legend says that the Holy Family sheltered in a cave below the altar. Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed inside.



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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #411
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The Church of St Barbara was named after an early Christian martyr who lived in the 3rd century AD. Daughter of a merchant, she was killed by her father for trying to convert him to Christianity. Occupying the site of an earlier church dedicated to St Cyrus and St John, the Church of St Barbara was built in the 11th century and is one of the largest and finest in Egypt.







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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #412
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Close to the Church of St Barbara and accessed though a massive doorway is another church in an enclosed compound. The Church of St George (different from the Greek Orthodox Church of St George) was founded in 681 AD by Athanasius the scribe. From the original foundation, only the Hall of Nuptials survived a conflagration in the mid-19th century, after which the current structure was erected.



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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #413
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #414
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #415
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The walls of Coptic Cairo









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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #416
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Outside the walls...



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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #417
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Awesome, very nice photos from Cairo
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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #418
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CAIRO TOWER & SURROUND

The southern half of Gezira (the Arabic word for "island") is almost completely flat, making it the ideal site for the 185-m Cairo Tower, which affords excellent views of the city and is beautifully lit at night.




Built in the late 1950s, the tower takes the form of a latticework tube that fans out slightly at the top, supposedly in imitation of the lotus bloom.



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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #419
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Old April 11th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #420
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