The Church of St. George is located right in the very heart of Old Cairo. On entering the Coptic Compound, one will find the delightful old church, and it really is well worth a visit even though it isn’t a standard fixture in most of our Cairo tour packages.
Old Cairo is well and truly a fantastic part of Cairo where visitors can easily spend an entire day or more exploring the many top Cairo tourist attractions. The Coptic area in particular is a place not to be missed, since it is home to many famous religious buildings, one of which is the delightful Church of St. George. In fact, many visitors believe that the Church of St. George is the most eye catching building in the area.
Church of St. George – A brief History
The Church of St. George is a relatively new building if compared to many of the other buildings in the area. It was only constructed during the tenth century AD, at which time it was dedicated to Saint George who is said to have once killed a dragon.
The church was all but destroyed by a major fire, but was later rebuilt. In actual fact, the church which you see today is built on top of an ancient Roman tower which connects to the monastery below, and construction was only completed just over 100 years ago in 1904. It is also one of the few round churches ever built in Egypt.
Unlike many of the religious buildings in the area, the Church of St. George is an active church. That is, it is still used as a church. In fact, it is considered to be the country’s principle Greek Orthodox Church. The monastery is also the official seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria.
Since the church still has an official role in modern day society, it is open to visitors of all religions, but visitors are not permitted to enter the church’s monastery. There are no exceptions to this rule, so it is something to bear in mind if you intend visiting the church.
Visiting the Church of St. George
The interior of the Greek Orthodox St. George church is accessed through the massive front doors. The interior of the church is renowned for its beautiful stained glass and the abundance of rich darkly stained wood. The round foundation of the church is also accessible for those who want to follow the closed stairs down into the ruins of the older Roman tower.
Most visitors spend at least two hours touring this particular site, and because it is so conveniently close to many other churches in the Coptic area, most visitors also make a point of visiting many of those too. The Coptic Museum; Hanging Church; Ben Ezra Synagogue; Church of St. Barbara and the Coptic St. George Church are all within easy walking distance of each other.
The site is easily accessed by catching a train to the nearby Mar Girgis Station. Alternatively, there are also buses serving the area for those who would prefer not to use one of the many taxis.
If you would like to visit the Church of St. George, along with several other historical sites located in the heart of Old Cairo, please be sure to explore our Islamic and Christian Sightseeing Tours in Cairo.
Experience the Best of Coptic Cairo
Not all of our Egypt tour packages or Cairo tour packages include a visit to the Coptic area in Old Cairo, but we can tailor any of our existing Egypt tours to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for.
If the Church of St. George isn’t in your itinerary, remember our fully customizable Egyptian tours are just a few mouse clicks away, and our operators are standing by right now to ensure you’ll never be disappointed.