The Church of St.
Barbara (Sitt Barbara)
The Coptic Quarter
Old Cairo (Misr El-Qadima)
Mari Girguis Metro Station
The Church of St. Barbara is named after the
daughter of a pagan merchant who was converted to
Christianity in the 3rd century. Barbara's father, in
protest of his daughter's attempts to convert him
eventually had her murdered. St. Barbara's remains are
contained in a specially built chapel. The remains of
St. Catherine of the famous monastery by the same name
are also contained in this church.
The church was first built in 684 AD and
was dedicated to St. Cyrus and St. John. Ancient
chapels in the north wing of the church are dedicated
to each of the saints.
The church was
burnt down in the fire of Fustat in 750 AD and
was not restored until the 11th century. The church is
built in the basilican style but has now lost most of
its original interior except for some of its
exceptional wood paneling, samples of which are on
display in the Coptic Museum.
In the 15th century, the Church of St. Barbara
was described as Egypt's largest and most beautiful
Plan one day for your tour of the Coptic
Quarter, including the Church of St. Barbara. As in
all other places of worship, modest dress is required.