Doors to Beyond – II

Cooper Hewitt – Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Traveling the Timeline of the Three Religions – Islam, Christianity & Judiasm

Saw the first mosque built in Africa. Unfortunately not from the inside due to ongoing renovations (and no pictures). Built in 642 AD by none other than Amr ibn al-A’as, a contemporary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and a great general of his time. None of the original structure remains due to renovations and reconstructions. Hoping to visit during our next trip to Egypt. Moving on, visited the Saint Virgin Mary’s Church (or the Hanging Church), one of the oldest church in Egypt and what an artistic and beautiful building from the inside.

IMG_3035

St. Virgin Mary’s Church – also known as the Hanging Church, dates back from the 3rd century AD.

IMG_3036IMG_3032IMG_3031IMG_3043IMG_3044

It is called the “Hanging” Church because it is built on the gates of the Fortress of Babylon. Nothing except a small section of the original fortress remains.

IMG_3022

The only remaining structure of the Babylon Fortress.

IMG_3020

The remaining section of the Babylon Fortress with the St. Virgin Mary’s Church spires in the background.

IMG_3023

Coptic Museum

IMG_3025

Was lucky enough to witness a Sunday service – listening to one in Arabic was amazing.

IMG_3039IMG_3042IMG_3040

Connected to the Church from an underground alleyway (reminds one of the description of Palestine in Agatha Christie novels), is the oldest Synagogue in Egypt, Ben Ezra Synagogue.

IMG_3058

IMG_3059

A bookshop in the underground alleyway connecting the Hanging Church to the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Our guide Ahmed Farahat is also in the picture.

IMG_3048

Nunnery entrance from the alleyway.

IMG_3055

Map marking the journey of Mary from Jerusalem to Asyut, Egypt and back to Bethelem.

IMG_3054

Entrance of Church of St. George is also through the alleyway. The Church is undergoing a complete renovation.

IMG_3047

Inside it was so quiet, peaceful and calm, a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle outside. Just sat there absorbing the atmosphere (photography is not allowed inside).

IMG_3049IMG_3050IMG_3051IMG_3052

Literally moved back in time (newest to oldest): Islam –>Christianity–>Judaism. What a historical journey.