This is a very interesting place. Following the leading steps
down to a typical labyrinth-like medieval compound. There lies
compound of unique alleys, streets, houses and old churches.
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)
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)
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
" (Mt. 2: 13)
The church itself was initially built in the 5th century
but rebuilt and restored several times after eruptions of
It is distinguished for its 24 marble columns of the central
court and the 12th century iconostasis.
St. Barbara church:
Ben Ezra Synagogue:
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
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.