Egypt's cosmopolitan capital Cairo is a city of extreme contrasts. Ancient and modern, fertility and barrenness, beauty and squalor, pollution and nature, riches and poverty. It is hardly surprising that life and death are inbuilt in the nature of its 20 million inhabitants.


Whilst 90% of Egypt's population is Muslim, the rest are largely Coptic Christians, following the faith brought here in the first century by St Mark. They were one of the first groups to split away from the Roman Church in 45 CE due to their non acceptance of the status of Jesus. The Coptic Quarter, Misr el Qadima, built in the old Roman city, is the home to many of these Christians, and has some historic early churches, of which the St Sergius and St Barbara are fine examples. But the 10th Century el Muallaqa (Virgin Mary) is the oldest. The Hanging Church (so named as it is hung upon the Roman built city walls due to variations in ground level over the centuries).




Nile Tour