Set out on a tour of Cairo and visit the places that were instrumental in the evolution of Christianity and some important Islamic monuments. The Coptic Museum in old Cairo houses a rare collection of the first Christian relics, architectural ruins, textiles, icons and old manuscripts. The Suspended Church of El Moallaqa, built at the turn of the 4th century, is worth a visit. Standing on the remains of the Roman fortress of Babylon, it houses a beautiful wood carving depicting Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem.
Explore the two lavish houses from the 16th and 17th centuries that were once occupied and restored by John Gayer-Anderson, who renovated and furnished the houses with antiques, artwork and oriental artefacts which he acquired during his travels.
In the morning, you will be picked up in an air-conditioned vehicle from your hotel in Cairo. Accompanied by a guide, you will be taken to the Islamic monuments of the city. You will visit the following sites:
• Ahmed Ibn Tulun Mosque: It is the third mosque built in Islamic Egypt. It was completed in 878 AD by Al Amir Ahmed Ibn Tulun, founder of the Tulunid Dynasty. The mosque is known for its varied gypsum ornamentations and engravings. It has a unique minaret with staircase from the outside.
• Al Azhar: It is the first mosque of Fatimide Cairo, built by Jawhar Al-Sekelli, commander of the armies of Al-Mo’ez le Din Allah. The mosque has three minarets, one if which is a twin minaret from the age of Sultan Al Gohari.
• Sultan Hassan School and Mosques: It is regarded as the pearl of Islamic architecture. It was set up by sultan Hassan Ibn Mohammed Ibn Qalawoun in the 14th century as a mosque and school for the four Islamic doctrines. It covers an area of 7,906 metre square, with a 38-metre high entrance - the most splendid entrance of Islamic monuments in Egypt.
• Gayer-Anderson Museum: The museum was founded in 1937 in two ancient residences, the Beit el-Kiridiliya from 1632 and the Beit Amna Bent Salim from 1540. In the museum, you will come across the private collection of Major Gayer-Anderson besides furniture, glassware, crystal, carpets, silks and embroidered Arab costumes. Several rooms on the third floor have been reconstructed to house the collections.
After exploring the Islamic monuments, stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Further on, proceed to the Christian monuments of the city that are of religious and historical significance. You will visit the following sites:
• Al Moallaqa (The Suspended Church): It was built at the turn of the 4th century on the remains of the Roman fortress of Babylon. You will come across a wood carving representing Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem. The church houses about 90 rare icons of basilican style.
• Abu Serga Church: The church is situated near the Coptic Museum and dates back to the 4th century. It was built on the basilican style on top of the cave that the Holy Family used as a shelter on their flight to Egypt, escaping from King Herod.
• The Church of the Virgin: The church dates back to the 8th century and contains precious icons and has three altars.
• The Coptic Museum: It is situated in Old Cairo and houses a rare collection of the first Christian relics, architectural remains, textiles, icons and old manuscripts. It exhibits the splendour of old Coptic art with its colours and ornamentation, which are considered a transitory style between Pharaonic and Islamic arts. This museum was founded in 1910 and offers the most extensive collection of Coptic artefacts in the world.
After exploring the Christian monuments, you will be dropped back to your hotel in Cairo.
Start time: 0900h (09:00am)
Duration: 9 hours
Your hotel in Cairo (Please advise your hotel at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)
Tour returns to the original departure point
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming the departure details.
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