The Christian District In Cairo
The term “Copt” refers to the Egyptian Christians who were evangelized by St. Mark the Apostle in the first century A.D. The word probably originates from the old Egyptian word Hwt-Ka-Ptah which means the “House of the God Ptah”. While the Greeks used the word Aigyptos for Egypt, the Copts used the Coptic term Kyptos.
Coptic Cairo is charming, perhaps due to the maze of modern and ancient monasteries and churches, carefully set within a Roman citadel. It also holds the beautiful coptic museum, alongside serving as a counterpoint to other parts of the city. This region also holds the oldest mosque and synagogue in Cairo. The Souq al-Fustat shopping complex is known for the plethora of options it offers, and art lovers will find the dynamic arts center quite fascinating.
You can access the Coptic compound via three different entrances. The first is a sunken staircase across from the footbridge over the metro, and passing through this entrance leads you to the unit that comprises paved alleyways, several churches, as well as the synagogue. The second entrance, which is the main gate, is situated at the center and leads you to the Coptic Museum. The third and the last entry is the doorway located further south and which opens to the Hanging Church.
Coptic Cairo once had over 20 churches crowded in the space of fewer than 1 sq km, and more thrived than reported here.