The Coptic Museum is located in an area of Cairo known as Coptic Cairo. Some other notable attractions in the area include the famous Hanging Church of Cairo and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. This fascinating museum is definitely one of the must-see Cairo Tourist Attractions for anyone and everyone who is interested ancient Egyptian Christian artifacts and the Coptic Christian faith in general.
The Coptic Museum which visitors can see today, houses the world’s largest collection of Egyptian Christian artifacts. The museum was built in 1908 on instructions from Marcus Simaika for the sole purpose of housing and displaying Coptic artifacts.
At the time of writing, the Coptic Museum collection consists of around 15,000 individual pieces that represent Coptic Christianity throughout its history, from its earliest beginnings, right up until the present day.
The actual museum building was built on an 8,000 square meter piece of land which was made available by the Coptic Christian Church of Alexandria.
A Brief History of Cairo’s Coptic Museum
After receiving some gifts from Pope Cyril V, Marcus Simaika Pasha set about acquiring funds to build what is today the Coptic Museum. By 1908, he had secured the necessary funds, and the building of the museum got underway, and it then officially opened on the 14th of March, 1910. Fortunately, in the years that followed, the museum’s collection grew rapidly, thanks to the generosity of Egypt’s Coptic community.
Two decades later, in 1931, the Coptic Museum was handed over to the state and was placed in the care of the Department of Antiquities. Later, in 1939, the decision was made to transfer the Egyptian Museum’s collection of Coptic antiquities to the Coptic Museum. All the artifacts were then moved to the Museum’s New Wing after building work was completed in 1944. I
n 1966, the Old Wing was forced to close due to damage, and it more or less stood empty until the entire museum was renovated from 1983 to 1984.
Two years later, in 1986, another project got underway at the museum, this time to strengthen and reinforce the building’s foundations, and it is believed that if this had not been done, then the Coptic Museum would almost certainly have been destroyed by the major earthquake which struck Cairo in 1992. The most recent renovations were carried out in 2005 and 2006.
What to Expect When You Visit the Coptic Museum
Besides it’s huge and absolutely fascination collection of artifacts, the Coptic Museum is a wonderfully tranquil place where one can stroll around peacefully, both inside the museum, as well as outside in it’s lovely gardens. This makes it a great place to visit if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cairo.
The grounds of the Coptic Museum are also surrounded by a number of old Coptic churches, some of which date all the way back to the 5th-century AD. Be sure to check out the Hanging Church and the Church of St. Sergius, both of which are popular tourist attractions which feature in many of our Egypt Tour Packages.
Our Final Conclusion
We believe that the Coptic Museum is a wonderful place to visit, regardless of what religion you follow, or even if you don’t follow any religion at all. The museum’s incredible collection reflects on a fascinating time in Egypt’s history, an era that links the country’s Pharaonic and Islamic periods; an epic era, and one which often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
At Egypt Tours Plus, every effort is made to offer Cairo Tour Packages to match all tastes and budgets, and for this reason, you may not see the Coptic Museum mentioned in your preferred tour itinerary. However, all of our tour packages can easily be customized to suit the exact needs of our clients. If you would like us to add this site to your preferred itinerary, simply let us know, and it will be our pleasure to do it for you.
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