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The Religion Compound
NileGuide Expert Says:
The Religion Compound has a uniquely serene atmosphere, and it’s easy to while away a few hours lazily exploring the cobbled streets and religious buildings.
Mari Girgis Street
11728 Cairo, Egypt
+20 2 285 4509 (Tourist Information)
NileGuide Expert tip:
The Religion Compound has one of the best bookshops in Cairo – situated in the passage that leads in to the walled part of the complex.
The Religion Compound is one of the most picturesque and charming areas in the whole of Cairo. It consists of a small area built around the remains of the old Roman fortress of Babylon on the Nile
, and contains pretty much all of the tourist sights of Old Cairo
(also known as Coptic Cairo, and Fustat).
The Religion Compound is littered with monuments from all three of the main monotheistic religions, as well as the Coptic Museum
and the Coptic Cemetery
. Some of the more famous churches here include the Greek Church of St George
(one of the few round churches still in existence in the region) and the Hanging Church
(with its famous suspended nave). The Amr Ibn el-Aas Mosque
is located just north of the compound, and was the first mosque ever built in Egypt (although it has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times).
Make sure you head down the passageway to the left of the Church of St George
: it takes you in to a maze of exquisite cobbled lanes that wind past numerous other religious buildings. Must-see monuments here include the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus
(believed to be the oldest in Cairo, and built on the spot where Jesus and his family rested after their flight to Egypt), the Church of St Shenuti
, and the beautiful Ben Ezra Synagogue
The Religion Compound can be reached by taxi (ask for Fustat) or by Metro: Mar Girgis Station is directly opposite the Coptic Museum