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The Church of Saint Sergius

The Church of Saint Sergius and Bacchus, two early Syrian Christian martyrs, locates in Old Cairo district(Masr El Qadima). The church is considerd the oldest church in Egypt since it dates back to the 4th century. It is believed that the Holy Family stayed in the cave that lies behind the sanctuarybefore leaving Egypt in their way back to Palestine. The church badly affected by the fires that burnt the city of Fustat during the Crusades, thus it was rebuilt later. Many Patriarchs of Alexandria were elected here. Of special interest in the church is the basilican style of architecture with wooden icnostasis, altar, three sanctuaries and the Crypt of the Virgin behind. The woodwork in the central section of the iconostases date back to the period of Sultan Qaytbay in the 15th century. One of the most remarkable signs for the impact of the islamic Mamluki style of decoration in this churhc appears in the geometric patterns ornamenting the panel supporting the ceiling of the church. For the interior plan of the church, the aisles surrouning the central nave are supported with columns of fainted paintings of apostoles. The Crypt of the Virgin is usually inundated by subterranean waters.

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