The Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo

The Coptic Museum contains the largest collection of Coptic collections in the whole world. It is located in the Coptic Cairo inside the Babylon Fortress and beside the hanging church, the Cave Church, and Ben Ezra Synagogue.

The history of The Museum This museum was opened to the public in 1910 by the efforts of Marcus Simaika Pasha, as he was interested in the preservation of Coptic heritage. He collected these collections by himself by buying the Coptic artifacts and architectural elements from older churches.

In 1939, the Service of Antiquities decided to transfer the Christian collection exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to be displayed in the Coptic Museum. Automatically, all discovered Christian artifacts are transferred to the Coptic Museum.

This museum consists of two buildings linked by a bridge. The first building was established by Marcus Simaika Pasha in 1910, while the second was added later in 1947.

It can be noticed that the facade of the Coptic Museum is identical to the facade of Al Aqmar Mosque in Moez St.

The museum collection: The building of the museum contains two floors housing various Coptic collections. These collections display the Coptic history in Egypt, as Christianity began in Egypt by Saint Mark when he visited Alexandria in the 1st Century AD. As well, these collections show how the Christian community lived in Egypt.

The museum objects reflects the merger that happened between Coptic art and the art in other civilizations as the ancient Egyptian art (as the collection of Kom Abou Billou site), Greco-Roman art, Byzantine art, and Ottoman art.

The museum display is divided into:
  • Stones and frescoes section:this section houses religious scenes and stone drawings from monasteries and churches. These scenes were drawn by tempra style.
  • The development of Coptic writing and manuscripts section: This section exhibits bibles written on deerskin in the Coptic and Arabic languages from the 11th to the 13th Century.
  • Fabrics and textiles section: it contains the clothes of monks decorated with crosses and drawings of the Virgin and the Christ.
  • Icons section:this section has a wide collection of Coptic icons from different periods with different themes and decorations. Icon is a Greek word meaning a picture that may be a drawing of saints or other religious scenes.
  • Wooden works section: this section contains several wooden works as doors and chairs brought from churches.
  • Metal section: it displays a large amount of silver and gold Coptic coins.
  • Pottery and glass section: it displays a lot of pottery and glass objects reflecting the Coptic community and history in Egypt.

For a quick visit to the Coptic Museum, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities launched a virtual tour for the Coptic Museum, You will be able to check it via this link.  The Coptic Museum virtual tour

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