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Coptic Museum, Cairo Overview

The Coptic Museum holds more than 16,000 artefacts dating back to the presence of Christians in Egypt. Almost all these artefacts have been collected from different monasteries across Egypt. It was founded in 1908.

Upon visiting this ancient museum situated at the site of Babylon, you will find that the artefacts displayed in the museum highlight a connection between the different religions present around the end of Pagan era and the evolution of Christian time period. There is even a museum to enable researchers to delve deeper into the history of the Museum and the Coptic Churches located nearby.

The Coptic Museum helps you understand the values and cultures brought to Egypt by Christians. It even showcases artefacts resulting from a mixture of different cultures and communities in Egypt. Along with this, the marvellous architecture of the museum as well as the churches present is another thing which is going to drop down your jaws in admiration. But for that, visit to the Coptic Museum is a must-have thing on your checklist.

History of the Museum

The inauguration of the Museum can be traced back to March 1910, when Marcus Pasha laid the foundation stone of the museum through funds received from the public. The initial artefacts kept on display in the museum were mostly silver antiquities, frescoes, icons and vestments received from Patriarch Cyril V and the Coptic community in Egypt.

The success of the museum attracted the Department of Antiquities to take in under its jurisdiction in 1931. The historical artefacts originally kept at the Egyptian Museum, and belonging to the Christian community, were moved to the Coptic Museum in 1939. The moved artefacts were kept for showcase in the new wing of the museum, which got completed in 1944.

Since its establishment, the Coptic Museum has undergone several renovations, which were needed mostly due to the damages which occurred to the existing building. The old wing of the museum was shut down in 1966, and the entire museum was renovated during the decade of the 1980s. Since then, further rounds of museum’s renovation took place between 2005 to 2006.

After Marcus Pasha, the Coptic Museum received its successors in the form of Dr. Togo Mina, and later Dr. Pahor Labib, who happened to be the first director of the Museum. Even today, the Coptic Museum thrives to reach out to people from different communities of the world, including the Coptic community. With this vision, the museum intends to serve as a platform for sharing experiences and heritage based on Egypt’s Coptic history and to share the same with the rest of the world.

Museum Architecture

Apart from the magnificent artefacts stored within the Coptic Museum, you will find the architecture of the museum compound along with the Churches surrounding it a marvel of architecture.

The lush green grounds of the museum give you a sense of peacefulness and solitude, while the architecture of museum building keeps it airy throughout the day. The Museum building is garnished with old mashrabiya screens, with mosaics paved along the way.

Along with this, the intriguing architecture of the museum helps you witness the Pharaonic period connected with the Islamic period. The sprinkle of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine cultures and traditions into the Ancient Egyptian history can also be witnessed upon visiting the Coptic Museum. All in all, you are going to fall for the beauty of this place for sure.

Notable Artefacts

Out of the many historical artefacts kept for display to the world in Coptic Museum, you will find a wide range of collections and items to sightsee. This includes masterpieces of Stoneworks, Manuscripts, Metalworks, Textiles and Icons dating back to as late as 300 AD.

One of such masterpieces to be visited is the Tunic, which is as old as the 5th Century AD. Made up of linen and wool, the tunic has been a garment worn during the Greco-Roman civilization.

On closely observing the tunic, you can easily observe an arcade enclosing figures of dancers and warriors. The bottom of the tunic covered with human busts, dancers and warriors highlight the excellence of textile workers of that age.

Another artefact which will take you deep into the Coptic history is the icon of Jesus entering Jerusalem as a King. Belonging to the 18th Century AD, the icon has been painted on wood in the Akhmim style. The icon showcases the entry of Jesus as a victorious King in Jerusalem.

Talking about the artefact a more, one can observe people lined up in the path, throwing garlands at Jesus and bowing down as Jesus proceeds. The event has been marked as “Palm Sunday”. But to observe such minute details of this masterpiece, you got to pay a visit to the Coptic Museum.

Museum Timings

The Coptic Museum is open at the following timings throughout the weekend:

Sunday to Saturday: 9 AM to 4 PM

How to Reach

For you to reach the Coptic Museum in Cairo, you can opt for the following modes of transportation:

Car

If you are visiting the city for the first time, you can hop on to a taxi, or rent a car for the day to visit the Coptic Museum situated at #3 Mari Gerges in Old Cairo.

Subway

You can visit the Coptic Museum via subway as well. For this, you need to deboard at Mar Girgis metro station. From the metro station, the Coptic Museum is situated at a mere distance of just 5 meters North of the metro station.

So, If you want to whizz past the bustling traffic of Cairo, travelling by metro can be the most feasible option for you to reach the Coptic Museum.

Best Time to Visit

As per the desert climate of Cairo city, the best time to visit the Coptic Museum can be considered in the months between October and April. This way, you can avoid the tormenting heat of Sahara, and have the fun of travelling through the streets of Cairo. While doing so, you can easily peep into the history of Ancient Egypt at the Coptic Museum, and experience the Christian-Egyptian culture.

Tips

Carry a manual describing the artefacts of Coptic Museum. This will help you avoid strolling randomly through the museum when you visit it.

Interesting Fact

The ‘Hanging Church’ of Virgin Mary and ‘The Church of St. Sergius’ situated in Coptic Museum compound are as old as 5th Century AD.

Read More on Coptic Museum

Museum Architecture

Apart from the magnificent artefacts stored within the Coptic Museum, you will find the architecture of the museum compound along with the Churches surrounding it a marvel of architecture.

The lush green grounds of the museum give you a sense of peacefulness and solitude, while the architecture of museum building keeps it airy throughout the day. The Museum building is garnished with old mashrabiya screens, with mosaics paved along the way.

Along with this, the intriguing architecture of the museum helps you witness the Pharaonic period connected with the Islamic period. The sprinkle of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine cultures and traditions into the Ancient Egyptian history can also be witnessed upon visiting the Coptic Museum. All in all, you are going to fall for the beauty of this place for sure.

Best Time to Visit

As per the desert climate of Cairo city, the best time to visit the Coptic Museum can be considered in the months between October and April. This way, you can avoid the tormenting heat of Sahara, and have the fun of travelling through the streets of Cairo. While doing so, you can easily peep into the history of Ancient Egypt at the Coptic Museum, and experience the Christian-Egyptian culture.

Tips

Carry a manual describing the artefacts of Coptic Museum. This will help you avoid strolling randomly through the museum when you visit it.

How to Reach

For you to reach the Coptic Museum in Cairo, you can opt for the following modes of transportation:

Car

If you are visiting the city for the first time, you can hop on to a taxi, or rent a car for the day to visit the Coptic Museum situated at #3 Mari Gerges in Old Cairo.

Subway

You can visit the Coptic Museum via subway as well. For this, you need to deboard at Mar Girgis metro station. From the metro station, the Coptic Museum is situated at a mere distance of just 5 meters North of the metro station.

So, If you want to whizz past the bustling traffic of Cairo, travelling by metro can be the most feasible option for you to reach the Coptic Museum.

Notable Artefacts

Out of the many historical artefacts kept for display to the world in Coptic Museum, you will find a wide range of collections and items to sightsee. This includes masterpieces of Stoneworks, Manuscripts, Metalworks, Textiles and Icons dating back to as late as 300 AD.

One of such masterpieces to be visited is the Tunic, which is as old as the 5th Century AD. Made up of linen and wool, the tunic has been a garment worn during the Greco-Roman civilization.

On closely observing the tunic, you can easily observe an arcade enclosing figures of dancers and warriors. The bottom of the tunic covered with human busts, dancers and warriors highlight the excellence of textile workers of that age.

Another artefact which will take you deep into the Coptic history is the icon of Jesus entering Jerusalem as a King. Belonging to the 18th Century AD, the icon has been painted on wood in the Akhmim style. The icon showcases the entry of Jesus as a victorious King in Jerusalem.

Talking about the artefact a more, one can observe people lined up in the path, throwing garlands at Jesus and bowing down as Jesus proceeds. The event has been marked as “Palm Sunday”. But to observe such minute details of this masterpiece, you got to pay a visit to the Coptic Museum.

Interesting Fact

The ‘Hanging Church’ of Virgin Mary and ‘The Church of St. Sergius’ situated in Coptic Museum compound are as old as 5th Century AD.

Museum Timings

The Coptic Museum is open at the following timings throughout the weekend:

Sunday to Saturday: 9 AM to 4 PM

History of the Museum

The inauguration of the Museum can be traced back to March 1910, when Marcus Pasha laid the foundation stone of the museum through funds received from the public. The initial artefacts kept on display in the museum were mostly silver antiquities, frescoes, icons and vestments received from Patriarch Cyril V and the Coptic community in Egypt.

The success of the museum attracted the Department of Antiquities to take in under its jurisdiction in 1931. The historical artefacts originally kept at the Egyptian Museum, and belonging to the Christian community, were moved to the Coptic Museum in 1939. The moved artefacts were kept for showcase in the new wing of the museum, which got completed in 1944.

Since its establishment, the Coptic Museum has undergone several renovations, which were needed mostly due to the damages which occurred to the existing building. The old wing of the museum was shut down in 1966, and the entire museum was renovated during the decade of the 1980s. Since then, further rounds of museum’s renovation took place between 2005 to 2006.

After Marcus Pasha, the Coptic Museum received its successors in the form of Dr. Togo Mina, and later Dr. Pahor Labib, who happened to be the first director of the Museum. Even today, the Coptic Museum thrives to reach out to people from different communities of the world, including the Coptic community. With this vision, the museum intends to serve as a platform for sharing experiences and heritage based on Egypt’s Coptic history and to share the same with the rest of the world.

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