Written by| Abeer Almadawy

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened today the  cathedral " The birth of Christ" which is considering as the largest in the Middle East, and one of the greatest projects that is established in  the new administrative capital.

In the inauguration,President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has accompanied with him t Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sheikh of Azhar and Assistant to the President of Sudan as he was received by Pope Twadros II.

 Cathedral of the "birth of Christ" is located in the new administrative capital, considered as the largest church in Egypt and even the Middle East in general, and it was established on using the latest technology methods, and the Cathedral is under the supervision and implementation of Orascom, in cooperation with the Engineering Corps of the Egyptian Armed Forces

Where President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the construction of the largest mosque and cathedral in the Middle East as a gift for all Egyptians in the new administrative capital, on the night of Christmas Day on 6 January 2017
Here is some information about the Cathedral in detail:

   Cathedral " The birth of Christ"is The largest and most spacious cathedral in the Middle East.
The church has an area of ​​15 acres, or 63,000 square meters. It includes the cathedral building on an area of ​​7,500 square meters, the People's Church for about 1000 citizens. The People's Church also contains a main square, the palace building, a reception hall, a meeting room and administrative offices. The cathedral building has a capacity of 8,200 individuals, which is a "Padrum" and a plate and lighthouse 60 meters high.

Architectural design

First: the design idea

The architectural design of the Cathedral of the Birth of Christ, designed to accommodate the largest number of people and to become a symbol and a distinctive mark in the new administrative capital, reflects the depth of the historical value of the Coptic Church as well as the cultural importance of Egypt and its great role in the region in the past, present and future. Also there is an importance for the Harmony with the locators of the site as well as inspired by the composition of historical and contemporary architectural vocabulary, both at the level of public composition or at the level of definated details, and was careful to arrive at a design worthy of the importance and significance of the project taking into account the importance of To create a state of love and worshiping to Almighty God, reverence and spirituality for project users, the uniqueness of the cluster was therefore used as a monumental magnification in design.

The buildings adjacent to the cathedral are also designed, including the papal headquarters building, a 1000 people's church, a ground floor garage and a service building.

The cathedral building and the adjacent buildings within the site were to be integrated with the surrounding buildings and the surrounding area in a magnificent symphony of architectural harmony.

Second: The formation of the cathedral

It is about huge main hall is covered with two perpendicular vaults, each 40 meters in diameter, forming a cross. In the center of the courtyard, the dome of the cathedral is 40 meters high, 39 meters above ground, loaded with four main arches, Four spherical triangles and the western part are covered with a 40-meter Vault.

At the end of the main clans are semi-domes in the northern, tribal and western regions. On both sides there are two side passageways, each covered by two intersecting vaults, each 6 meters in diameter. As for the structure area, it is important to have the top structure of the dome with a diameter of 15 meters and the domes of the sides of the 10 meters.

- A number of 2 lighthouses were added to the cathedral building, and its location was chosen so that it can be seen from all sides and can be seen from the moment that the visitor enters the site  from a distance. The lighthouse rises 60 meters.

- The lighthouse was designed to form elements of the Coptic architecture and it was considered to contain a number of bells at the top of the lighthouse. The cathedral was considered as a symbol of life in the sea.

Description of the Cathedral:

The cathedral building consists of two floors:

1 - the upper floor with a surface of about 8100 square meters. Consisting of a cathedral bowl and can accommodate more than 7500 individuals, and the deacons  rises 7 degrees from the courtyard of the cathedral, and the structure area in the east, and it contains three altars with restrooms and service rooms occupying three floors next to the structures on the east.

There is a baptism in the north-west of the building and a children's room opposite the baptism. Four elevators serving the elderly and various slopes and stairs to serve the people within the cathedral were considered. There is a central adaptation of the entire cathedral.

The lower floor is about 8,500 square meters and contains a church with an area of ​​1800 square meters, which can accommodate more than 1,200 people, a multi-purpose hall with a surface area of ​​1500 square meters, a museum hall for the history of the Coptic Church and a meeting room. Service rooms and stores, and is now adding a north entrance to connect the church with the main square next door.

Source|Watani in arabic - Castle Journal


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