Antiquities Minister announces grand reopening of Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo – Al-Tahrir News Network

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Minister of Antiquities, Mamdouh Al-Damati announced that the grand reopening of the Hanging Church in Old Cairo will be in early October, marking the completion of the restoration and renovation of the church.

The grand reopening of the Hanging Church in Old Cairo will be in early October

The announcement came during Al-Damati’s inspection tour of the religious complex in Old Cairo, as he was accompanied by secretary-general of the Supreme Antiquities Council, Mostafa Amin, Chief of Projects Sector, Lieutenant General Mohamed Al-Sheikha and Old Cairo Pontiff, Priest Julius.

Antiquities Minister, Mamdouh Al-Damati and Old Cairo Pontiff, Priest Julius (photo: Ministry of Antiquities)

Al-Damati will be inviting Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to attend the reopening ceremony, as the church is of great significance to the united fabric of Egyptian society, both Christians and Muslims.

The architectural restoration work of the church has been completed

The architectural restoration work of the church has been completed, according to Al-Damati, who pointed out that the only task remaining are the renovations to the southern section, which contains a historical panorama telling the story of the region, in addition to the section serving as an entrance to the Babylon fortress and the Coptic museum.

The stunning doors to the Hanging church

Al-Damati called for collaborative efforts between the area’s caretakers and Cairo governorate officials to restore the roads leading to the complex to its original condition, corresponding to the area’s historical value as symbol of unity stemming from Egypt’s diverse foundation.

The courtyard of the Hanging church

He also stressed the importance of addressing the obstacles delaying the renovations of Abu Serga and Abu Sefein churches,  calling to include a committee of church officials to the Technical Review Committee of the Islamic Antiquities Sector, to address critical issues such as the installation of lifts and air-conditioning units in Abu Sefein church.

The church is of great significance to the united fabric of Egyptian society, Christians and Muslims

The Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and the history of a church on this site dates to the 3rd century AD. The Church is the most famous Coptic Christian church in Cairo, as well as possibly the first built in the Basilican style.

The Church is the most famous Coptic Christian churches in Cairo and possibly the first built in the Basilican style

It was probably built during the patriarchate of Isaac (690–92 AD), though an earlier church building may have existed dating as early as the 3rd or 4th century. However, the earliest mention of the church was a statement in the biography of the patriarch Joseph I (831–49 AD), when the governor of Egypt visited the establishment.

An earlier church building may have existed dating as early as the 3rd or 4th century

The church was largely rebuilt by the Pope Abraham (975-78 AD) and has seen many restorations.