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Cairo Churches: The Church of Abu Serga


The Church of Abu Serga (St. Sergius)

Above: Chapel of The Curch of Abu Serga. Below : Steps of the Crypt of the Church of Abu Serga.

The Church of

Abu

Serga (St. Sergius) is another 4th Century church, dedicated to two early martyrs and supposedly built on the spot where the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the infant Christ, rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. They may have lived here while Joseph worked at the fortress. However, the church is dedicated to Sergius and Bacchus, who were soldier-saints that were martyred during the 4th century in Syria by Maximilan. The original building was probably done during the 5th century. It was burned during the fire of Fustat during the reign of Marwan II around 750. It was then restored during the 8th century, and has been rebuilt and restored constantly since medieval times, however it is still considered to be a model of the early Coptic churches. Again, the most precious and ancient of the icons are on the southern wall. A vast central hall is divided into three naves by two rows of pilasters. In much the same style as the Hanging Church,

Abu

Serga has 12 unique columns decorated with paintings of the Apostles. This church resembles religious structures in Constantinople and Rome. The main attraction, situated directly under the choir, is the crypt. This crypt contains the remains of the original church where tradition says the Holy Family lived. Originally this crypt was the sanctuary, but became the crypt after the larger church was built. The crypt is closed due to flooding by water seeping in. Being tied to the Holy Family, the Church of

Abu

Serga continues to be a draw for Christian visitors.

The Church of Abu Serga - Old

Cairo

Interior of the Church of Abu

erga

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Last Updated: June 16th, 2011

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