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The Coptic Compound The Coptic Compound
Photo by Raymon Kondos
© 2009 Your Egypt

This is a very interesting place. Following the leading steps down to a typical labyrinth-like medieval compound. There lies a Coptic compound of unique alleys, streets, houses and old churches.

Image 1
St. George convent:
On the left side of the main alley, enter the first small wooden door and then to the small room. A special ritual is held daily in commemoration of persecution of St. George. A nun wraps the visitors for few moments with chains that were previously used by Romans as a persecution equipment. (See Image 1)

AbuWhat does it mean? Serga church (St. Serguis church):
This is at the end of the main alley on the right side. The place of the church is said to be one of the places visited by the Holy family when they came to Egypt, fleeing King Herod. For this reason, the church is still drawing pilgrimages from Christian believers. (See Image 2)

Image 2

" … the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word … " (Mt. 2: 13)

The church itself was initially built in the 5th century but rebuilt and restored several times after eruptions of fire.
It is distinguished for its 24 marble columns of the central court and the 12th century iconostasisWhat does it mean?.

Image 3

St. Barbara church:
Originally the church was built for saints Cyrus and John in the 7th century. It was restored in the 11th century after an 8th century fire.

Now the main chapel is dedicated to St. Barbara and her relics are stored in it. St. Barbara converted to Christianity in the 3rd century AD, angering her pagan father who handed her over to the Roman governor who tortured then killed her. The altar dedicated to Saint Cyrus and John is in the north. (See Image 3)

Ben Ezra Synagogue:
Originally a church, the building was reverted to Jews and was rebuilt by a Jerusalem rabbi Abraham ben Ezra in the 12th century. The synagogue resembles much of Christian churches. Services are rarely held in it.
Old Photo 1

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