- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Arabic Phrases
Church of Saint Barbara
Church of Saint Barbara Review
Named for a young Nicodemian woman who was killed by her pagan father for converting, the church was originally dedicated to Sts. Cyrus and John (in Arabic, Abu Qir and Yuhanna, respectively), two martyrs from the city of Damanhour. It is said that when they refused to renounce their Christianity, they were shot with arrows, burned, and drawn and quartered, but would not die until they were beheaded.
The church was first built in 684, destroyed in the great fire of Fustat in 750, and then restored in the 11th century. Additions were made when the relics of Saint Barbara were brought here. The church is one of the largest in Cairo. Replete with the standard division of narthex, nave, side aisles, and three sanctuaries, the church is also considered one of the city's finest.
The sanctuary screen currently in place is a 13th-century wooded piece inlaid with ivory—the original screen is in the Coptic Museum. The icons above the church's screen include a newly restored Child Enthroned and a rare icon of Saint Barbara. A domed apse behind the main altar has seven steps decorated in bands of black, red, and white marble. To the left of the sanctuary is the chapel dedicated to Sts. Cyrus and John, a square structure with a nave, transept, two sanctuaries (one for each saint), and a baptistry.
Access to Coptic Cairo's cemetery is through an iron gate to the left of the church.
- Address: Hara al-Qadisa Burbara, Mari Girgis, Cairo
- Phone: No phone
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Daily 9–4, except during services
- Location: Coptic Cairo (Mari Girgis)
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
I hope this trip is not considered too old to report. Read more
Just returned from 12 great days in Egypt. Read more
World Travel Expert advice - (No Travel Bias!)
I Plan on traveling on either September or October 2014!
Need help with budget of $3,000 (US dollars), (Includes RT Air!), and have not decided where to Read more
· News & Features
From the depths of the Diwan bookstore to the flavors of a basterma croissant, author Pauls Toutonghi ... Read more
Egypt has lured world wanderers for millennia with some of civilization’s grandest treasures.... Read more