“Cairo—Coptic Area—Hanging Church from Courtyard” by Daniel Mayer is licensed under CC-by-SA-4.0

SUSPENDED CHURCH. Al-Mu’allaqah—the Hanging Church—in Old Cairo is so named because it was built on top of the gatehouse of a Roman fortress, and its nave “hangs” over a passage leading into the fortress. The church is accessed by a large staircase at the end of a narrow courtyard.

While the Hanging Church was most likely built in the seventh century C.E., possibly over an earlier church dating to the third or fourth century, the first mention of it was not until the ninth-century biography of Patriarch Joseph I. Despite its age, the church is in good repair, with the most recent round of renovations wrapping up in October 2014.