Known in the Arab world as al-Muallaqah “The Suspended” church, and by Christians as the Hanging Church its Cairo’s most famous Coptic church. The Church commemorates the Virgin Mary, and is named for its location above a gatehouse of Babylon Fortress, the Roman fortress in Old Cairo with its interior-nave suspended over a passage.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus escape from Palestine into Egypt out of fear from persecution of Herod the Great. The Holy Family traveled all the way to Assiut, and on their way back home spent several weeks in Old Cairo. Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church stand traditionally on the spot where the Holy Family rested at the end of their journey in Egypt. They may have even lived here while Joseph worked at the fortress.