The Coptic Museum Narrates the Historical Events
Inside the Babylonian fortress borders, this castle that was built to be the first line of defense for the eastern gate of Egypt, you will find one of the biggest collections of Christian art in the world, getting you the chance to attend each historical event that Egypt witnessed from the earliest days of Christianity in Egypt under Roman rule through to early Islam events until the eighteenth century. Just cross the remains of this Roman fort of Babylon to find the largest religious, archaeological museum in the world surrounding you, the Coptic Museum.
The Coptic Museum will transport you to a unique character of Coptic art to see a rare Coptic art mixed with ancient Egyptian beliefs; Hellenistic, Byzantine, and Islamic civilizations; to stand in complete amazement when finding at this only place in the world that reflects the unique link between pharaoh’s culture and the Coptic era in Egypt; how The ankh, the key of life for the pharaohs, which is a hieroglyphic symbol, is similar to the cross of Christianity.
Then to go through the sides of the Coptic Museum to meet records, which prove that Christianity in Egypt was
affected by several cultures and religions, involving the ancient gods of Egypt, the pagan faiths of Rome and Greece.
Exhibitions in Coptic Museum in Cairo
The Coptic Museum will make you the witness of the eras; crossing through the historical events that reflect the Christian situation in the period of Roman rule; till arriving at the early Islamic period, finding yourself wandering around in 16 thousand rare artifacts divided into 12 sections; in which the chronological arrangement was used in the 26 exhibition halls; to find yourself fly with each section to an era of the Christianity history to feel at the end as if you lived all these eras seeing these historical ages to be aware of every event. Then, what will you see there!
The Rare & Unique Antiquities That Feature the Coptic Museum
The Escape Exhibition Hall, which is considered one of the most important collections of the Coptic Museum, because it illustrates the journey of the Holy Family in Egypt, and while you live these most important times in details, witnessing sacred events in Christianity history, you will find beside you a unique collection of minerals, dating back to the 10th century AD, was found in a tomb in an abandoned church in Fayoum, which consists of doors clad in bronze, in addition to the historical tools used in the churches for lighting are surrounded by a large number of pottery tools and Coptic seals.
The “Psalms of David,” book
One of the museum’s most significant acquisitions; is the book “Psalms of David,” which is the oldest book of psalms in the world with two original wooden covers; it is the only monument that was exclusively dedicated to a whole hall, Hall No. 17. In addition to the library, which is one of the most important halls of the museum, as it includes 10 thousand rare manuscripts, 700 books, and 1000 documents; which are paper and weaving of linen.
Also, you will find another way of charm that will arrive you at the philosophy library, named “those who know God,”; which includes 578 papyrus sheets, in addition to a large number of wall paintings; the most famous of which is a painting that represents Mary standing in the middle of 12 apostles; and another drawing that depicts Jesus sitting at the top of the painting; and another painting showing the story of Adam and Eve’s exodus From heaven; the drawings tell the stories mentioned in the Bible and the Torah.
Once you cross the small corridor and enter the old wing; you will stand in astonishment in front of a showcase containing Nile scenes illustrating the hunting process; and another showing aquatic plant, in addition to stone pieces representing the god “Nilus.”
More to see at the Coptic Museum
There you will find various geometric designs, and some plant scrolls such as grape leaves and acanthus plants; and a number of friezes decorated with carvings in the form of rabbits; and some birds such as peacocks, in addition to gravestones that were found in Ahnasia in the early Coptic era; along with the oldest manuscripts of the Bible.
The halls that show the artifacts from the 2nd- to the 5th will appear to you the transition between Pharaonic and Coptic art, to view that the first crosses shaped like the ankh, the key of life. While the artifacts from the 4th- and 5th-century reflected that the Christian symbolism was influenced by Greco-Roman mythology.
A wonderful 7th- to the 8th-century artifact will attract you to travel back to 1500 BC; as it represents three mice asking a cat for peace, which will transport you in pharaonic Egypt, representing animals behaving like humans.
the Wooden Antiquities
What distinguishes the Coptic Museum is the wooden antiquities; as the museum contains a collection of wonderful wooden effects, on top of which is the door of the Saint Barbara Church; which was made of sycamore wood, and the altar of the Saints Sergius and Wachs church; through them, you can realize the art of sculpture between the fourth and sixth centuries; in addition to some wooden monuments, such as doors dating from the tenth and fourteenth centuries; which illustrate the influences of Coptic art.
In the Coptic Museum, there is also a tombstone made of limestone, dating back to the end of the fourth century AD; inscribed with the signs of the cross and ankh in an intertwining manner; a piece of fabric dating back to the sixth century AD; on which some Christian symbols were woven; and an ivory comb dating back to the seventh century AD; It shows some miracles of Jesus, in addition to a pillar crown made of limestone, dating back to the seventh century AD; decorated with inscriptions in the form of grape clusters.
The History of Establishing the Coptic Museum
The idea of establishing the Coptic Museum began after the French Egyptologist Gaston Camille Charles Maspero collected great artifacts of Coptic art that were scattered in many places in Egypt and allocated one of the halls of the Egyptian Museum to display them, and after the increase of the number of these rare artifacts, as the hall of the Egyptian Museum crowded into it, the necessity of establishing an independent museum dedicated to displaying Christian antiquities appeared.
The Egyptian researcher “Morcos Samika Pasha” was the first to contribute to the founding of the museum; and for more than seventeen years; he struggled to collect donations for its construction from the Egyptians until it was inaugurated in 1910 AD; to be established on an area of 8000 meters, and Samika was its first director until his death in October 1944.
More Info You Need To Know About Coptic Museum
- The Coptic Museum address is 3 Mary Gerges Street – Ancient Egypt – Babylon Fortress – Cairo.
- The opening hours of the Coptic Museum are from 9 am to 5 pm.
- The ticket cost is 100 LE.