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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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The synagogue

Cairo, Egypt: Synagogue

Cairo, Egypt: Synagogue

Modest in appearance, delightful in interior and boasting of legends, the Ben Ezra synagogue is the supreme Jewish monument in Cairo. It is not the only synagogue, but it is the most used. It no longer has a rabbi, but is maintained by 42 local Jewish families.
Legends claim that the synagogue is built on the spot where pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the bulrushes and where Jeremiah spoke to survivors after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
Until the 9th century, there was a church here. The Jewish community bought it from the Christians, who needed the money to pay taxes to Ibn Tulun to construct his famous mosque. It is possible that the church building survived into the synagogue.
The modest exterior is perhaps not a bad idea considering the shifting attitudes from the rulers and the population of Egypt towards Jews. It was severely damaged in 1967 following the Six-Day War.
But the most important recent event is the finding of medieval manuscripts in 1894. The collection, called Geniza, contained manuscripts with references to God, and therefore could not be destroyed, counted more than 250,000 pages, dating to the period between 1002 and 1266.

By Tore Kjeilen