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St. Sergius Church in Cairo: why visit it?

The visit to the St. Sergius Church in Cairo also known as Abu Serga, is a classic on Christian tours
by the capital of Egypt. But what makes this religious temple so special? In the following lines we tell you about it.

Its religious importance

The Church of St. Sergius in Cairo is actually dedicated to two saints: the aforementioned St. Sergius, but also to St. Bacchus. Their stories are linked by their professions and their martyrdoms: in the 4th century, when they were prominent military officers of Emperor Maximian, they were executed in Syria after the authorities of the Roman Empire discovered that they were Christians. Some time later they were sanctified and part of their relics were transferred here, where they are still preserved.

But the ihe Church of St. Sergius in Cairo is known and visited for another even more important religious reason: according to Christian belief, the Holy Family (the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus) lived in this very place for a few weeks during the chapter known as the “Flight into Egypt”. The specific place of his refuge was the cave or crypt that the church still preserves today, so that many are the faithful and visitors who come to the temple to know in person this corner so important for Christianity.

St. Sergius Church in Cairo
St. Sergius Church in Cairo

Its architectural beauty

In addition to its religious significance, a visit to the St. Sergius Church in Cairo is fully justified by its architectural beauty. Although there is no unanimity on the time of its construction, it is believed that it dates back to the fourth or fifth century. It has a classic typology of basilica plan with three naves, as was common in the Paleochristian era. 

Although its dimensions are modest (about 30 meters long, 19 m wide and 15 m high), the fact is that its architecture radiates a special atmosphere thanks to the mix of materials of its elements and the fine craftsmanship of the details. The main structure of the temple is made of fired red brick, but the columns that separate the naves are made of stone, with special mention of one in white marble and another in red granite. 

Wood is the protagonist of the ceiling and, especially, of the altar, formed by a beautiful mixture of geometric shapes, although the original is currently in the nearby Coptic Museum. In other wood panels, ebony and ivory inlays can be seen. In the apse there are marble mosaics and, scattered throughout the temple, there are different icons, some of them centuries old.

Church of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus
Church of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus

How to visit the St. Sergius Church in Cairo

The visit to the St. Sergius Church in Cairo is free of charge, within the permitted hours. However, it is advisable to visit the temple along with the Coptic Museum mentioned above and within a guided tour that takes you to other sacred places for Christianity in the area. 

Egipto Exclusivo can help you organize a private tour with this theme, as well as manage other details of the trip in Cairo and other parts of the country.

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