Egypt: The Hanging Church

Hanging Church

The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church is the most important structure, at least as far as tourism goes,  in Cairo's Copic region. It gets its name from the fact that it is built on two U-shaped towers with wooden beams giving serving as a false foundation. It was constructed this way to keep it away from the flooding Nile waters. The church has seven altars, four of which were under renovation when we visited. The doors of the altars are made of ivory and ebony wood, pieces of which lock with each other like a giant jigsaw puzzle without help from any nails or glue. The roof of the main nave is in the shape of an inverted boat symbolising the Noah's arc and is supported by eight pillars symbolising the eight human occupants of the arc. The floor of the church is filled with many trap doors serving as a quick escape routes for the monks whenever the place comes under attack from its enemies.

The church houses some priceless painting which include a 7th century work depicting the story of Jesus pardoning a local woman. The work is famous for its spelling mistakes in its Arabic texts, mainly due to the fact that it is one of the earliest work in Arabic and the language was still in its infancy. The church also houses some bones of famous saints of the region.
 

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