Abu Serga Church in Cairo, Egypt

Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, also known as the Abu Serga Church as well as the Cavern Church, is an important historical and religious landmark in Cairo, Egypt. The church is supposed to be built on the spot where Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus rested at the end of their journey into Egypt. The church is dedicated to Sergius and Bacchus who were soldiers in the 4th century that were killed by the Roman Emperor Maximian and achieved martyrdom and sainthood.

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Carving at the Entrance to the Church
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Church Altar
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Some of the Many Relics
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One of the Many Displays
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Cavern Where the Holy Family Stayed

The church is one of the oldest in Egypt and dates back to sometime in the 4th or 5th century. It is located near the Babylon Fortress in Cairo and it was believed that Joseph may have been one of the people to work on the construction of the fortress. We visited the Abu Serga Church as part of a tour of the section of Cairo  known as Coptic Cairo where there are a variety of historical sites.

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Plaque Outside of the Cavern Entrance
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Well Where the Family Drank
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Baptismal
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Crowds Enjoying the Church
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Painting of the Holy Family

The interior of the church is quite fascinating and contains a variety of ancient relics. It is a popular location for tourists to visit and you will find yourself in a line of people as you make your way through the actual cavern inside of the church. There is also a well within the church that is believed that the Holy Family drank from. With such historical, religious, and cultural significance, visiting the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church is definitely worth doing while you are in Cairo.

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Sign for the Sites in Coptic Cairo
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Historic Bible
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View of the Church
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Another View of the Cavern
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Another Painting in the Church
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Ornate Details

 

The Agora of Athens

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Walking the Agora of Athens

Obviously the highlight of any visit to Athens, Greece, probably starts with the Acropolis, but there is so much more to see in this wonderful city. For us, our second favorite location was the Agora of Athens with the Temple of Hephaestus. The agora was a gathering place for the people of ancient Greece and contains many different structures. It is truly a fascinating place to walk and imagine yourself discussing philosophy or the benefits of a democratic society. When you go to the Acropolis, you can buy a bundled ticket that includes other attractions, including the agora, which makes it well worth the extra money as it will save you money in the long run.

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Temple of Hephaestus from the Distance
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The Ruins of the Agora
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Approaching the Temple of Hephaestus
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Artifacts at the Museum

The Temple of Hephaestus, which sits high upon a hill looking over the agora, is one of the best preserved ancient temples in all of Greece. One of the reasons that it is so well preserved is that it had been in continual use for more than two thousand years, even serving as a Greek Orthodox church until the early 1800’s. Hephaestus was the god of metal working, craftsmanship, and fire, perhaps a fitting choice for it to have remained in almost its original condition.

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Looking Up at the Temple Hephaestus
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Preserved Reliefs above the Columns
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Up Close and Personal
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We are on Our Way to the Temple

There are so many fascinating ruins to see as you walk through the agora including several statues such as the remaining torso of a statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The ancient roads can still be detected as you walk among the ancient ruins. There is also the Museum of the Agora on the grounds, which displays some interesting pieces that have been unearthed during the excavation of the site.

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Roman Emperor Hadrian
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Fascinating Museum Artifact
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Statue Column
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Back of the Temple

Some people may feel that they have had their fill of ancient ruins and temples after visiting the Acropolis, but we feel that it is well worth taking the time to visit the other sights that Athens has to offer. At least during our visit, there were less tourists at places like the agora and it made walking among those ruins that much more enjoyable. We found the Agora of Athens to be an almost magical place with so much history and so many artifacts that it can a little overwhelming.

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So Much to See
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The Temple above the Agora
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Ancient Wall
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Building Walls
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Row of Statues

Images from the Past

Since the dawn of man, cultures have been capturing images of themselves, their gods, and their lives in some form or another. Starting early on with cave drawings and then carving images out of stone. It is an important way that people have shared their beliefs and passed down their stories through time. This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Heritage, so we decided to share some photos from Tiwanaku. The civilization that created these statues inhabited the areas of Bolivia and Peru over three-thousand years ago. Looking at their artwork is a window into the culture of these very mysterious, but sophisticated people.

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Statue at the Center of the Akapana Pyramid
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One of the Statues
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Faded Statues
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Gate of the Sun