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Sightseein - The Church of St. Barbara

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 church.

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.





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