St. Sergius Church
St. Sergius and Bacchus Church is where you touch the same footsteps of the holy family in Egypt amid honoring the Spirits of the martyrs.
Cross the magnificent gateway of the Roman fort of Babylon while the historical sounds of the great events whisper secrets from history in your ears till arriving in the center of this fortress, especially on the spot where the Holy Family stayed during their escape from the oppression of the Roman Emperor Herod in the 1st century AD, to find your self standing on the heart of St. Sergius and Bacchus Church.
Name and History
St. Sergius and Bacchus Church or also named St. Sergio church, and Abu Serga church is one of the most splendid historical churches that had been set, where you will be amid the events of the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt, entering the cave in which the Holy Family sheltered for three months during their stay in the Egypt land, to touch their same footsteps and rest your back on the same wall they had relaxed. One of the entrances to the cave is the well that the Holy Family drank from, and which is still filled with water until now, and it is 3 meters deep.
St. Sergius and Bacchus Church dates back to the 5th century, although some historians think it was built in the 8th century. There is a fact says that St. Sergius and Bacchus Church was erected in the 5th century, but it was burned within the Fustat fire during the reign of Marwan II around 750; then it was rebuilt during the 8th century, in medieval times. It was dedicated to honoring two Martyrs (Sergius and Bacchus).
They were Roman soldiers in the 3rd century AD within the army of Emperor Maximian. They converted to Christianity secretly during the period of Roman persecutions of Christianity. So, Caesar ordered to be tormented to death. Therefore, “Sergius and Bacchus” were called “the greatest martyr of the East.”
Religious Spirit at St. Sergius and Bacchus Church
In the basilica style, St. Sergius Church was erected to walk where Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus walked, and wandered along the historical walls and columns, seeing icons and pictures of Christ, and some of which were carved to explain the journey of the Holy Family, along with the pictures and remains of some of the martyrs and the holy ones, to find your soul refresh while the aromatic scents and incense that clear the place a unique spiritual atmosphere.
Holy Family Cave
Once you enter St. Sergius and Bacchus Church to be above the cave of the Holy Family, you will find in front of you a narthex, a nave, and two aisles separated from the nave by 12 columns with Corinthian capital, 10 of these columns of stone, one of marble and another one of rosette granite.
The same as the hanging church, on your east side, you will find three Sanctuaries, each with a wooden dome, supported by four marble columns, to look up at each alter, finding religious capitative scenes of Christ, Angels, and the four evangelists on a wooden dome.
While a pulpit on the northeast side of the nave, made of marble, and wood encrusted with ebony and ivory, will attract you. In the central sanctuary, there is a wooden screen that dates back to the 13th century. It is decorated with panels of ebony and ivory. You will have a charming time when walking along the remarkable frieze and the icons of this church that date back to the 15th and 16th Centuries.
While you walk through the holy family cave, and your heart dances to see this holy spot, which the scholars of the French campaign talked about, “where they said in one of the Coptic churches, priests refer to a cave they say that the Virgin Mary took shelter in it with the child Jesus when he came to Egypt to escape from Herod, to find a nave, and two aisles while the ceiling is domed. While at the end of the cave South, there is a baptistery.