Scattered throughout its maze of streets are ancient ruins, churches, mosques, skyscrapers, medieval monuments and bustling souks, as well as museums housing a wealth of astounding treasures.
A part of Old Cairo, Coptic Cairo is filled with Christian history from its impressive Babylon Fortress and Coptic Museum to its beautiful Coptic churches. To this day this region of Cairo remains inhabited by many Christians. Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church – better known as the Hanging Church – due to its location above a gatehouse of the Babylon Fortress, is another must-see sight when exploring the area. The church features beautiful ornate walls and carved pillars.
Cairo’s storied past also extends from when the city was conquered by Muslim Arabs in the mid-6th century AD. Islamic Cairo refers to the section of the city developed during the Islamic era of Egypt, reaching its “golden age” during the 14th century. This fascinating part of Cairo consists of numerous buildings built during this era, including mosques, mansions, hammams (bath houses) and madrasas (educational institutions). The ancient Citadel of Cairo, a medieval Islamic-era fortification built by Saladin was constructed during this time and is very much the centrepiece of the area. The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is another major attraction whilst the Khan el Khalili Bazaar has been at the centre of trade in the city for centuries.