The Church of St. George, also called Mar Girgis, is of the Greek Orthodox denomination, and dates back to the 10th century. There are images of St. George, dressed as a Roman soldier, spearing a dragon from atop an Arabian horse everywhere in Cairo, and on hundreds of wooden panels and relics in the church. The church itself is round, which is a rarity in the Middle East. This unusual construction is likely due to its foundations. The church is supposedly built atop the ruins of a Roman tower in the Babylon Fortress. What can be admired today dates back to 1904, since the original construction burned down in a great fire. The church continues to function to the present day, and is the seat of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
The St George Greek Orthodox church is a sacred place for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as well. The main reason for this is the historically alternating ownership of the church between the Copts and Greek Orthodox Christians in Egypt. Now firmly in the possession of the Greek Orthodox church, the two Christian denominations share the festival of St. George, which takes place on April 23rd. The experience of visiting the church is very powerful, as travelers will smell burning incense, and dozens of candles, producing a special ambiance.
To enter the church, you will have to pass through security which also services the Coptic Museum.
The church continues to function; if arriving during mass, make every effort to be respectful.
A dual EU-Canadian citizen with roots in Wroclaw, Poland, Milosz oversees the administrative aspects at Egyptian Sidekick. He is an avid traveler and a history buff, with a love for cross country skiing and soccer. Based out of Toronto, Canada, he is involved in several community sports teams, and volunteers part-time.