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Timings :
Coptic Mass: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday to Friday: 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Sunday: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Entry Fee : Free Entry

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Also Refered As:

Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, El Mu’allaqah

Hanging Church, Cairo Overview

The Hanging Church of Cairo is a stone facade inscribed with Coptic and Arabic marks. Also known as the Church of Saint Virgin Mary, the Hanging Church of Cairo is one of the most popular and oldest churches present in the world today. Dating back to 3rd Century AD, the Hanging Church of Coptic Cairo comprises of 110 Holy Icons.

Since the Church is built atop the southern gatehouse of the Roman-built Babylon Fortress, the Church derives its name of ‘Hanging’ from here. This is because the distinct location of the Church makes it appear as if it is hanging mid-air. It is also interesting to know that even the Church’s Arabic name, el Mu’allaqah translates to ‘The Suspended’ in English. Unfortunately, one cannot witness this phenomenon present day due to an increase in the elevation profile of the ground level.

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History of the Hanging Church

The existing historical records mention that the Hanging Church dates back to the Patriarchate if Isaac of Alexandria, a Coptic Pope who held office during the 7th Century AD.

Course of the Building
Built originally as a place of worshipping for the soldiers inhabiting the Roman Fortress, the Hanging Church has undergone several rounds of restorations. Out of these, the Church witnessed renovations extensively during the 10th Century AD.

Historical Significance
Throughout Egyptian history, the Hanging Church is recognised as one of the most important and famous figures of Egyptian Christians. Further, in 1047 AD, the Hanging Church was officially declared as the official residence of the Coptic Orthodox Pope. This event happened after the Muslim conquest of Egypt, as a result of which the Egyptian capital shifted from Alexandria to Cairo.

Ownership of the Hanging Church
Present-day, the Hanging Church of Coptic Cairo is owned by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and possesses some of the most intriguing icons to observe during your visit to the Hanging Church.


On entering the Church building, one is bound to fall for the beautiful architecture of the place. Coloured glass paintings on the walls of the Church, the intriguing Holy Icons exhibited inside the Church and the pious atmosphere of the Church, every nook and corner of the Church will enlighten the spirituality within you.

Preserved Icons 
The Holy Icons of the Church ranges from as old as 8th Century AD to 18th Century AD. Some of these icons were received by the Church in 1898 as gifts from Nakhla Al-Baraty Bey, who was the then overseer of the Church.

Other Highlights
Further, one can observe the ivory and ebony inlaid iconostasis inside the Church surmounted by icons of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and the Twelve Apostles. These iconostases depict several Coptic Cross patterns and designs which were carved into different segments. Hence, in case you want to experience the spirituality of the Hanging Church, paying a visit to the place during your visit to Cairo should be on your bucket list.

Sightseeing Near the Hanging Church

Situated in the heart of Central Cairo, people may also pay a visit to a lot of other attractive places located nearby the Hanging Church. These include but not limited to the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Coptic Museum, the Church of St. George and the Greek Orthodox Monastery etc. Hence, one can visit nearby attractions of Coptic Cairo as well, which will help you delve deeper into the Arabic Christian community and their cultures and practices during your visit to Cairo.

Visitor Tips

  • Keep your Cellular Phones on Silent/ Vibration mode inside the Church premises.
  • Avoid clicking pictures inside the Church building.
  • Avoid touching the Holy Icons present inside the Hanging Church.

How To Reach Hanging Church

To reach the Hanging Church, you can adopt to either of the following modes of transportations as per your convenience:

If you are travelling to the Hanging Church by car or by Taxi, you need to drive straight to the Church situated at the junction of Mar Gerges Street and Kasr Al Shama’e Street. For this, you need to be mentally prepared to face the dense traffic gushing past the streets of Cairo.

Travelling to Hanging Church can be very much cheaper in case you are travelling via the City’s subways. This mode of transportation is especially recommended for tourists who are not confident about the streets of Cairo. To reach the Hanging Church via Subway, one needs to de-board the subway at Mar Girgis Subway Station, which happens to be the closest Subway station to the Hanging Church. Lying at a mere distance of 15 meters South to the place, one can reach the Hanging Church from the Subway station easily by walk.

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