This time, we walked in an area where The Holy Family passed by! We’ve walked through Coptic Cairo. The whole place presents rich history, speaks with its ancient soul and celebrates its genuine architecture. Above all, one of the colossal pieces that Coptic Cairo holds is Babylon Fortress. To illustrate, Coptic Cairo embraces many incredible architecture buildings and structures. Some of which include: the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church, St. George Church, Coptic Cemetery and Babylon Fortress to name a few. So, we decided to pay one of these places a visit to let you know about, this place is Babylon Fortress.
History as old as Persians
It is said that the original fort was built by the Persians in the 6th century B.C. near the Nile. However, when the Romans took hold of Egypt, Trajan, the Roman Emperor ordered to move the fort closer to the river during the first century B.C. Trajan made this decision in order to make water distribution within the fortress grounds easier and more efficient. By the 7th century A.D., the fortress was already enormous. To clarify, it was about forty foot high outer walls with a moat.
A Multi-Functional Structure
Aside from its ancient history and huge size, Babylon Fortress had much more things to offer. That is to say, it had a very successful port, two nilometers and a canal which linked it with the Red Sea. In addition to that, the fort also worked as a refuge and a hiding place of the Coptic Christians, who were persecuted by the Roman Christians.
Visiting The Fortress
Babylon Fortress was built using the Roman methods of construction. To illustrate, this method was: a pattern of five blocks of limestone with three blocks of red bricks. These were all bound together with a mortar of sand, lime, pebbles and charcoal. Unfortunately, not much is left from this mega structure. However, the parts that are still surviving are actually in a relatively good condition. The remaining sections of this structure are close to some of Coptic Cairo’s most prominent buildings. These buildings were: the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church and St. George Church.
Babylon Fortress and the Coptic Museum
Above all, it’s worth mentioning that now a great part of fortress lies between the church of St George and the Hanging church. This section of the fort links between both churches and lies in front of the Coptic museum.
Babylon Fortress and the Hanging Church
Firstly, the Hanging Church got its name from being built on the southern gate of Babylon Fortress. When you visit the church, make sure to notice the glass strips on the floor that shows the fort that’s under the church. Also, from the church’s windows you can see a major section of the fortress structure.
Babylon Fortress and St. George Church
The Church of St. George directly overlooks the fort in addition to the Coptic Museum and the Hanging Church as well.
Finally, Babylon Fortress is what connects all magnificent architectural pieces together with his rich history and prominent structure. It’s a must visit place that we definitely enjoyed exploring. To read more about the fort head to: The State Information Service.