The Hanging Church
About The Hanging Church
The 9th (7th is another popular opinion) century Hanging Church got its name from the sort of positioning it adopts – it is suspended over Roman Babylon’s WaterGate. It can be accessed through the south of the museum on Sharia Mar Girgis, highlighted by a stone façade containing Coptic and Arabic marks.
Tourists and parishioners are always around the church, with missions ranging from prayers over a compendium of saints’ relics (including an icon of Mary) to recreational visits.
There are steep stairs that lead to the 19th-century façade, which has twin bell towers on its top. There is also a small inner courtyard, where you can buy videos of Shenouda III – the Coptic Pope – and his taped liturgies as well.
The church’s interior could easily pass for an upturned ark, with its wooden roofed aisles, and a three-barrel vaulted structure. The altar is kept away by the Ivory-inlaid screens, with carefully crafted complex geometric designs that are almost like Islamic patterns, but for the tiny crosses infused into them.
Sitting between the pews is a magnificent pulpit, made for the Palm Sunday services only. The pulpit stands on 13 trimmed pillars, with each pair depicting Christ and his disciples. There is one pillar darker than the others –and that is Judas. Towards the far right is the Baptistry, which bears a panel cut out of the floor to provide a pleasant view of the Water Gate situated under.