The Cave Church in Cairo
The Monastery of Saint Simon, also known as the Cave Church, is located in the Mokattam mountain i...
The Monastery of Saint Simon, also known as the Cave Church, is located in the Mokattam mountain in southeastern Cairo, Egypt, in an area that is known as ‘garbage city’ because of the large population of garbage collectors or Zabbaleen that live there. Mostly, Zabbaleen are Coptic Christiansand they prefer to stay in Mokattam within their own religious community even though many of them could afford houses elsewhere. The local Coptic Church in Mokattam Village was established in 1975. In 1976, a large fire broke out in Manshiyat Nasir, which led to the beginning of the construction of the first church below the Mokattam mountain on a site of 1,000 square meters. Several more churches have been built into the caves found in Mokattam, of which the Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner is the largest with a seating capacity of 20,000. In fact, the Cave Church of St. Simon in Mokattam is the largest church in the Middle East.