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1. Modern Cairo

2. The National Museum

3. al-Azhar Mosque

4. Old Cairo

5. Hanging church

6. Coptic museum

7. Coptic churches

8. The synagogue

9. Fustat

10. Mosque of Amr

11. Ibn Tulun Mosque

12. Khan el-Khalili

13. The Citadel

14. Muhammad Ali Mosque

15. Sultan al-Nasir Mosque

16. Suleyman Pasha Mosque

17. The bloody museums

18. Panorama of Cairo


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Modern Cairo

National Museum

al-Azhar mosque

Old Cairo

Hanging church

Coptic museum

The churches

The synagogue


Mosque of Amr

Ibn Tulun Mosque

Khan el-Khalili

The Citadel



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Coptic museum

Cairo, Egypt: Coptic museum

The interior of the museum is worth attention, too. Especially the ceilings offer great cratsmanship. This is room 9.

Cairo, Egypt: Coptic museum

From the selection of scriptures found at Nag Hammadi in 1947.

Cairo, Egypt: Coptic museum

A 4th century funerary stele made from limestone.

With most of the ancient churches of Egypt destroyed or rebuilt, the Coptic Museum is the only chance to see this part of both Egypt's and Christianity's history. Nowhere else will you find as much and important of Coptic art. The museum has 16,000 pieces, but parts were closed following the 1992 earthquake.
One thing to beware when visiting the museum is the many examples of amalgamation of ideas, artistry and religion with the introduction of Christianity in the Egypt of Isis, Re and Horus. Many artefacts shows how old representation techniques were used by the first Christians. Examples of this is how the ankh-symbol (like a cross with a loop on top) was reworked into a Christian cross (room 2), how Mary with a sucking infant Jesus was shaped after the prototype of Isis breastfeeding Horus (room 6) and how crosses and Horus hawks were put together on a basket-weave capital (room 2).
Probably the nicest collection of Coptic art dates from between th 6th and the 9th centuries, and here the Bawit Monastery near Assyut has been the main contributor (room 3).
The most important part of the whole museum might appear modest without explanations: the collection of scripts. On the upper floor, you can see papyrus sheets of the Gnostic gospels found at Nag Hammadi in 1945 (room 10). In the same room, check out the Coptic Psalter, the oldest preserved codex in the world. It was found in the grave of a woman dying some time around 400.

The museum is open 9.00-17.00 daily, but during the month of Ramadan 9.00-15.00. Admission is EŁ16, students EŁ8. Photo permit is EŁ10, filming permit is EŁ100. Get there by taking the metro to Mari Girgis. It lies about 100 metres from the station.

By Tore Kjeilen