the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George (Mari Girgis) with the church built on the actual tower. This is the seat of the Greek patriarch of Alexandria.
This Greek foundation originated at Memphis and probably moved here when that city was abandoned after the foundation of Fustat. It is first mentioned in the 10C when it was briefly administered by the Copts. As the fortunes of the Greek church waxed and waned it passed several times between them and the Copts, but it has been a Greek Orthodox church since the late 15C. From the 16C it also contained a convent, hospital and an old people’s refuge.
In 1904 the complex was destroyed by fire although the icons and relics were saved. A new church was rebuilt in 1909. The mùlid of Marì Girgis (called the Panegyris) is held on 23 April and is one of the largest Christian celebrations in Cairo. The present modern Church of St. George, set on top of the N tower, is circular in plan. On the second landing of the stairs is a relief of St. George. Beneath the church are chapels to various saints and a small Museum containing icons, liturgical objects and vestments. N of the church is the Monastery which contains the Hall of Saints, divided into sections dedicated to various saints.