Muqattam Mountain Cave Cathedral

St Samaan El Kharaz - Samaan El Kharaz Cave Church - Jabal al Muqaţţam

Useful Information

Location: Muqattam Mountain, Cairo.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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~1990 cave church discovered.


This cave church was discovered more than ten years ago by Father Sama'an, while clearing some rubble to make a new recreational area for the children of the community. Father Sama'an is the Coptic Orthodox Priest of Muqattam Mountain, home to 30,000 garbage collectors or zabbaleen in Cairo. He and his parish did some additional digging inside the cave and then installed seats, an altar area, and a P.A. system.

The cave church seats around 4,500 people. But when the weekly worship services began to outgrow the cave church, Father Sama'an built his Garbage Cathedral. A huge overhanging cliff face covers most of an amphitheater, which seats 20,000. This is the the largest church in the Middle East.