Mar Girgis Church and Monastery in Old Cairo
The Church and Monastery of Mar Girgis or Deir El Banat locates in Mar Girgis Street in the Coptic Compound in Old Cairo. The original church of Mar Girgis traces back to the 7th century over Babylon fortress by the famous scribe Athanasius for placing the relics of St.George in it. During the crusades attack and the fire of Fatimid Cairo the church has been totally ruined like many other churches in Cairo at that time. The present structure has been reconstructed in 1909 and since the 15th century the church is regarded as a Greek Orthodox Church.
Among the remains of the ancient Church exists the hall that is known as Qaat El Ersaan of the marriage hall that is admired for its width and height. Worth admiration in this hall, are the windows of ivory and ebony inlays ornamenting the central hall in addition to the ornate paintings over its ceiling.
The church encloses a beautiful mosaic icon depicting St. George with two angels descending down from heaven and giving him seven crowns as a reward from god for his patience and strong faith since he has been tortured for seven years before his martyrdom. It is one of the most visited churches in Cairo due to the religious value of St.George since he is believed to have some miraculous powers and blessings.
The Shrine of Saint George stands in one of the corners with a flight of stairs before its entrance, and the shrines that were used for crippling him in its center.