Abu Serga Church Cairo Egypt, tours, prices, booking
Abu Serga church Cairo known as Saints Sergius and Bacchus church. In fact, Abu Serga church is a 4th century church. The church is the oldest of Cairo’s Christian Churches. Abu Serga church dedicated to two early martyrs. It built on the spot where the Holy Family rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. The family journey lived here while Joseph worked at the fortress. Abu Serga church indeed has a significant historical importance. The church is where many patriarchs of the Coptic Church elected. The first elected here was Patriarch Isaac (681-692 AC). Moreover, the church is the episcopal church of Cairo. It also was the episcopal See of Misr (the district of Old Cairo) that replaced the former See of Babylon. Many bishops consecrated in the Church until the reign of Patriarch Christodulus (1047-1077 AC).
Abu Serga church dedicated to Sergius and Bacchus. They were soldier-saints. The two saints martyred during the 4th century in Syria by the Roman Emperor, Maximilan. The building of the church constructed during the 5th century. It burned during the fire of Fustat during the reign of Marwan II around 750. In fact, Abu Serga church restored during the 8th century. Furthermore, it rebuilt and restored since medieval times. Abu Serga church still considered a model of the early Coptic Churches. Its basilica style is recognizable. Moreover, Abu Serga church resembles religious structures in Constantinople and Rome.
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Abu Serga church has two aisles. The western return aisle along with a tripartite sanctuary measures 17 x 27 meters and 15 meters high. Within the sanctuary is an altar . The altar surmounted by a wooden canopy and supported by four pillars. On the east wall of the sanctuary rises a fine, semi-circular tribune with seven steps. There was a khurus in front of the sanctuary. It no longer exists. Khurus is a transverse room preceding the sanctuary,
The same style as the Hanging Church, two rows of six columns each separate the aisles from the nave. In addition, eleven of these unique columns with faint painted decorations. They are from marble. One is of red granite. The pulpit replaced by a copy of the Ambon (a pulpit) in St. Barbara’s Church. Some of the older wooden pulpit now are in the Coptic Museum in Cairo. A few others also are in the British Museum. Also, the oldest wooden altar in Egypt found in the Abu Serga church. It is now in the Coptic Museum.
Sanctuary iconostasis ia a screen separating the sanctuary from the rest of the church. It is which icons are usually displayed. The sanctuary is a beautiful work of art which dates to the 12th or 13th century. The several panels inlaid with ivory and ebony. Moreover, they covered in a wonderful relief that features arabesque designs. The apse encrusted with strips of marble and decorated with mosaics.
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There are some wooden panels within Abu Serga church. They are of earlier date and depict fine scenes of saints on horseback, the Nativity and the Last Supper. There are also some of other old icons that date to the 17th century. The icons show various scenes depicting the life of Christ, Virgin Mary and some of the saints. This crypt contains the remains of the original church. It is where tradition says the Holy Family lived. In fact, this area of Abu Serga church sometimes was inaccessible. This is due to the presence of subterranean water.
Moreover, this crypt under the modern sanctuary, was itself the sanctuary of Abu Serga church in Cairo. It became the crypt after the larger church built. The crypt measures six meters long, five meters wide and 2.5 meters high. Within its north, south and east walls are niches. Sometime after the crypt built, two rows of slender columns erected. The 24th day of the Coptic month called Bachons. It corresponds to the first day of June in the western calendar. On that day, the Coptic Church commemorates the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. A mass still held on that day in Abu Serga church.