This convent's namesake holds a special place in the hearts of Copts. The remains of this Roman legionary who was martyred in Asia were brought to Egypt in the 12th century. Images of Saint George abound in Egyptian Christianity, and the most common depicts the saint on a steed crushing a dragon beneath him. So it should come as no surprise that within the walls of Babylon are a church, a monastery, and a convent dedicated to the dragon slayer.
The convent, while
less impressive in its present-day form than in the past—medieval historians describe a huge complex—is still worth the visit. Enter the courtyard and take the stairway on the left down to a structure that dates from the Fatimid era. Inside is a huge reception hall with a beautiful wooden door about 23 feet tall. Behind the door, a shrine contains the icon of Saint George and a set of chains used for the chain-wrapping ritual (still practiced), said to represent the sufferings of Saint George at the hands of the Romans.
Hara al-Qadis Girgis, Cairo, Egypt