This church is also called El Muallaqa, Sitt Mariam, the Suspended Church and St. Mary Church. The church gets its name from its location built on the gatehouse of the former Roman fortress with its nave suspended over a passage. Wood and stone were used to place on top of the Roman ruins a foundation for the church. The church was constructed in the 7th century and has been rebuilt several times. From 7th-13th century the church was the residence of the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria.
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