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Coptic Museum

Coptic Museum

Coptic Museum

Coptic Museum ,

History of Coptic Museum

Coptic Museum is located in the Old Cairo district of Cairo on the grounds of the Babylon Fortress near the Hanging Church.

Coptic Museum was founded in 1910 by Marcus Simeika Pasha to present the Christian monuments to a wide public.

The museum was built in the form of a residential house using components from other houses around an inner courtyard on the property of the Coptic Church, in the area of ​​the Roman fortress of Babylon.

Coptic Museum was maintained by the Coptic Patriarchate until 1931 but was nationalized in 1931. In 1947 it was considerably expanded, restored, and rearranged in 1984 and from 2001 to 2006.

In 2006 the museum was restored and on Monday, June 26th, 2006, the museum was opened to the public again in the presence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The most important collection of Coptic Museum works of art in the world comprises around 16,000 exhibits on an area of ​​around 8,000 m 2 in the chronological or thematic breakdown.

In 1945 a clay jug with 1600-year-old Coptic manuscripts was found in the Upper Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi. Among them was a manuscript with the Gospel of Thomas.

Tour inside the Coptic Museum

The architecturally appealing and newly renovated museum houses the largest collection of Coptic art ever.

Coptic Museum consists of two floors. The lower floor mainly houses fragments of architecture in nine halls, while the upper floor houses manuscripts, textiles, icons, legwork, and metalwork.

The following description follows the exhibition concept before the last renovation; possible concept changes could not yet be incorporated:

  • The exhibition begins in Hall I with pieces from the 3rd to the 3rd floor. 5th (post-Christian) century, which is not yet Christian but can be assigned to Greek mythology.

Most of the pieces come from Ihnasiya el-Medina (near Beni Suef ), for example, depictions of Hercules, Leda with the swan, two nymphs on a dolphin, Dionysus with grapevines and a limestone niche depicting a dancer with a sistrum and the “Pan “With flute.

  • Hall II is the Christian grave steles and niches dedicated from the 3rd to the 6th century, the ancient Egyptian origin is still clearly visible:

one finds so the appearance of the ankh sign (the sign of life) and the winged sun with uraei.

The pieces on display include a stele depicting a rider holding a bunch of plants in his hand and on which an angel is putting a crown, and a depiction of a corpse in the form of a mummy.

  •  Hall III provides friezes and capitals before the 5th century. Most of them come from the monasteries of Bawit.

These include, for example, the niche painting of Christ in the chariot in the presence of sacred animals and the archangels Michael and Gabriel; underneath one finds the representation of the Holy Virgin with her child in the presence of the twelve apostles.

  • Rooms IV and V are architectural fragments dedicated to the 5th and 6th centuries.

In addition to friezes and gables, attention is paid to the various forms of capital such as basket and acanthus leaf capitals.

  •  Rooms VI and VII in the Coptic Museum are the Jeremias Monastery of Saqqara dedicated to the 6th century.

Research into the facility was carried out by Quibell in 1907.

One recognizes the columns with their capitals with the depiction of acanthus branches, vines, and palm leaves. This also includes the stone ambon (pulpit), niches, and frescoes of the Holy Virgin and Christ.

  • Room VIII is home to numerous architectural fragments with Christian symbolism.
  •  The highlight of Room IX is the fresco depicting Adam and Eve before and after the Fall, which comes from Umm el-Burigat (Fayoum). You can see a decorated wooden door from the Church of St.
  •  Barbara, a pine altar from the Church of St. Sergius, and a sanctuary screen also from the Church of St. Barbara.

A staircase leads to the upper floor of the Coptic Museum

  • In halls, X to XII manuscripts and textiles, and related items are on display.

The manuscripts date from the fourth to the 18th centuries; One of the most important manuscripts is the Nag Hammadi Codex from the 3rd to 4th centuries.

Furthermore, an early, complete psalter from the 4th / 5th centuries Century, gospels, and a metal ink pot from the 10th century.

The textiles include tunics and other decorated ribbons, etc. The representations woven into the fabrics include people and riders, birds and animals, or subjects from the Bible, such as St. Mary in the presence of the twelve apostles.

  • Hall XIII in the Coptic Museum shows icons and legwork. These include the representations of saints, e.g. Archangel Michael, and the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist.
  • Rooms XIV and XVI in the Coptic Museum show wood and metal objects from the church use. These include lamps, candlesticks, crosses, censers, amulets, fans, jewelry, and much more.
  • Room XVII shows find from Lower Nubia, such as a fresco of St. Mary after the birth of her child.
  • The following halls could no longer be visited in 2001.

Room XVII shows grave steles from Abu Billu, rooms XXII and XXIII frescoes and altars, rooms XXIV to XXVIII woodwork, and rooms XXIX and XXX pottery and glassware

Opening times and entrance fees:

  • The museum is open every day except Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    The entrance fee is LE 16. Students pay half the entrance fee.
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