The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture
The Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum: Insight into Egypt’s Coptic History

  • 4d Fakhry Abd El Nour St.
  • Museums
  • 9am - 5pm, Daily, last tickets at 4pm -
reviewed by
Melissa Howell
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The Coptic Museum: Insight into Egypt’s Coptic History

Located directly across from the
Mar Girguis
Metro Station next to some of Cairo’s oldest and most
historically poignant churches, the Coptic Museum is one of Cairo’s lesser
known but still very relevant museums.

The Coptic
Museum holds over 10,000 relics
pertaining to Coptic Egyptian history, covering two floors and more than
fifteen centuries of history. The museum is loosely organised by category of
relic rather than date. The first few rooms hold a sizeable collection of
carved limestone recovered from various sites all over Egypt. Early
pieces, dating back to the 3rd and the 5th centuries such as those found near Fayoum that feature images and figures from Greek mythology, while later pieces
feature increasingly Christian themes such as the cross of everlasting life.

One of the greatest parts of
the museum is a large, tented atrium filled with limestone recovered from the
site of the Saint Jeremiah Monastery at Saqqara.
Stone and wall paintings of the monasteries of Appolo and Bawit are also on
display as well as pieces found at the site of the hermitages of Kellia.

Decorative textiles are on
display and several placards are posted throughout the museum displaying the
same message that explains the importance of textiles in Coptic tradition. The
pieces are beautiful and some include the attire of clergymen, yet the
collection is not nearly as extensive, as that of the Egyptian Textiles

Detailed icons are on
display, many of them from the 17th century, though some icons date back a bit
further. You will also see pottery and tools as well as Gospels and other
writings in the Coptic

Entrance to the museum costs 50LE for foreign visitors and 2LE for Egyptians. The museum has very strict rules regarding
photography; and you must check your cameras at the front office. However, when
you’ve finished touring the museum, the guards usually permit you to snap a few
shots of the building and the adjacent courtyard.

360 Tip

Inside the museum grounds, there is also a gift shop and a café.

Best Bit

The museum does a great job at showcasing a traditionally under-represented side of Egypt’s heritage.

Worst Bit

The repetition of several placards of the same information is an unfortunate oversight.

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