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Presenting St. Simon the Biggest Church in the Middle East and at the same Time the Strangest one too… Find out why…

There are numerous astonishing churches and monasteries found worldwide, but the one we’re about to present is unlike any other you’ve seen so far. It is not located in the centre of a city or near one, neither on a top of a mountain (like many Chinese are), but inside of a giant cave. The monastery votive to the Saint Simon is located in Cairo, Egypt, and was built thirty years ago, back in 1975.

St. Simon Coptic Orthodox Church

via flickr by arch2452 licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

And this non-ordinary cathedral is not the sole architectonic masterpiece, but it comes with a huge amphitheatre that can accommodate around 2000 people and has an amazing acoustics. This is used as a lecture hall, since the church functions as a school for the deaf, an education centre and an area for children.

via flickr by arch2452 licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yet, it is not the only church that can be spotted on the Mokattam Mountain, but there are six other religious objects found on it and they are all hidden within the caves too. But the St. Simon Cathedral and the Virgin Mary church are the largest ones in this sacred complex located in the rocks on this mountain.

 via flickr by arch2452 licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This sacred complex was carved by the Zabbaleen community, who are Coptic Christians and a minority in this Muslim country. And after they were relocated to the outskirts of Cairo in 1969, they carved this monastery near their new residence. Their city is known as the garbage city because the largest population of garbage collectors can be found here. Their main profession other than collecting and selling garbage is farming: raising pigs, chickens or goats. And in order to get to their church they need to pass a tricky winding path covered with their own trash. Even though they are used to this way of life, this is not as appealing to the tourists that come to visit this cathedral with unique appearance.

Cave Church

via flickr by vagabondblogger licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Many awesome engravings cover the walls of these caves, and all of them are representing stories from the Bible.

Even though this is a cave church, it nonetheless represents the largest church found in the Middle East, the part of the world where mainly mosques are spotted only.

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