Built in the 11th century with pillars from the 4th century, this church is the oldest inside the boundaries of Coptic Cairo. It is distinguished by its distinctive aesthetic and architectural features, which capture the essence of the Coptic church buildings in Egypt.
It pays tribute to the Roman soldiers Sergius and Bacchus, who in AD 296 were killed in Syria for their commitment to Christianity. It is situated over a cave where Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus are claimed to have sought refuge after escaping to Egypt from King Herod of Judea, who is known to have started a 'massacre of the first born' to avoid persecution. The crypt, where the Holy Family is reputed to have lain, is one of its most intriguing aspects.The crypt is 10 metres deep and frequently floods during high Nile levels.
These two churches do not face one another; instead, they are at an angle to one another, competing with one another while also being joined to one another. They both have the same entrances and are identical in every way, right down to the open spaces that surround them, and neither is thought to be more beautiful or larger than the other in any way. By the sparkle of their stones, each does, in fact, shine brighter than the sun, and each is similarly decorated throughout with an abundance of gold and teems with offerings. The pulpit, the baptismal font, the ivory and wood templon with its intricate religious ornamentation, and the saints and apostles adorning the different domes, walls, and columns are just a few examples.
Mari Gerges, Kom Ghorab, Cairo 11511 Egypt