A common space for harmonic peacemakers
1_ Cairo Churches: The Hanging Church .
The Hanging Church (El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, St Mary) derives its name from its location on top of the southern tower gate of the old Babylon fortress (in Old, or Coptic Cairo) with its nave suspended above the passage (Muallaqa translates to 'suspended'). It is the most famous Coptic Christian church in Cairo, as well as the first built in Basilcan style (possibly). It was probably built during the patriarchate of Isaac (690-92), though an earlier church building may have existed elsewhere dating as earlier as the 3rd or 4th century. However, the earliest mention of the church was a statement in the biography of the patriarch Joseph (831-49), when the governor of Egypt visited the establishment. The church was largely rebuilt during by the patriarch Abraham (975-78) and has seen many other restorations including one very recently, after which objects of historical interest that were no longer of service went to the Coptic Museum.
By the 11th century AD, it became the official residence of the Coptic patriarchs of Alexandria. With the reign of the patriarchate of Christodoulus (1047-77), infighting between the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus and the El Muallaqa Church broke out due to the wishes of that patriarch's desire to be consecrated in the Hanging Church, a ceremony that traditionally took place at Saints Sergius and Bacchus. Nevertheless, Christodoulus was consecrated at El Muallaqa as well as several others after him including Cyril II and Michael IV (1092-1102). Other patriarchs were either enthroned or elected at El Muallaqa, and a number of others were buried at the church during the 11th and 12th centuries. Also, Coptic synods were held in the church to determine which day Easter would fall or to judge priests or bishops suspected of heretical teachings.
It became known to travelers during the 14th and 15th centuries as the "staircase church" because of the twenty-nine steps that lead to the entrance.
The church, which measures 23.5 meters long, 18.5 meters wide and 9.5 meters high, can be reached by steps 29 steps. It became known to travelers during the 14th and 15th centuries as the "staircase church" because of these steps, which in turn lead to an open court. The entrance to the church lies in the south door in the east wall of the narthex, which an outer porch decorated with geometric and floral designs in relief applied to stucco.
to be continued .