Mogama' el Adyan (Interfaith Complex), or Coptic Cairo, is a region unlike any other in Egypt. The history of the three Abrahamic religions is frequently entwined here in Coptic Cairo and the Sinai. Visitors may be greeted with Salaam (the Arabic word for peace) or Shalom within Egypt's sacred sites (the Hebrew form). The neighborhood's wealth of historical landmarks will appeal to history buffs, while architecture fans will delight in the stunning mosaics and woodwork. In addition, various commodities are sold by street sellers along Coptic Cairo's winding lanes.
A testament to the shared traditions that unite the three faiths is many Muslim pilgrims among the hordes of Christian and Jewish tourists.
Coptic Cairo, with its fortress, churches, and synagogue, predates the actual founding of Cairo by the Muslim Fatimids in 969 AD. It is a part of 'Old Cairo,' the original city center for centuries.
Before ascending 29 steps to the church, visitors enter through a beautiful gate and walk through a courtyard lined with mosaics. It is a relatively closed-off compound with a marked entry and exit closely watched by tourism police.
Once you're inside the complex, everything is pedestrian. The large churches and the fortress ruins are on the main path, while the older, smaller churches are located farther inside and are only accessible through narrow lanes.A wooden screen covers the sanctuary's front with an exquisite geometric pattern inside, and the pulpit is made of marble. The tale of how Christianity influenced ancient Egyptian civilization is depicted through frescoes, ivory carvings, metalwork, textiles, icons, texts, and other artifacts. The back is where the Coptic cemeteries are.
There are numerous other historic churches nearby that can be visited. The Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, built in the fourth century and located over a cave where the Holy Family is thought to have spent the last night of their escape into Egypt, is one of the oldest Coptic sites in Egypt. It bears the names of two early martyrs, and is accessed through a flight of stairs that descends to street level. Its holiest area is located even deeper beneath, in a crypt where devotees deposit pieces of paper bearing their prayers. A regular stream of people come to the church, recognized as a healing shrine, every day to offer their prayers.
One of Egypt's best collections of Coptic art may be seen at the Coptic Museum, which also houses a wealth of important information on the early Christian era in Egypt. The Hanging Church in the neighborhood houses some magnificent collections of Coptic art. In this location, archaeologists have discovered remnants of a tiny Nile-side hamlet dating back to the sixth century BC. In the second century AD, the Romans built a fort known as Babylon-in-Egypt.
The Ben Ezra Synagogue, which according to legend, was constructed on the place where the newborn Moses was allegedly discovered floating on the Nile, is another significant landmark in Coptic Cairo that Jews revere.
Even if you are not religious, previous tourists recommended seeing Coptic Cairo.