The Coptic Patriarchal Church of St. Mark (ALEXANDRIA)
THE CHURCH IS LOCATED ON COPTIC CHURCH STREET off Saad Zaghloul Street. In 1819 Patriarch Peter VII (al-Gawli) consecrated this church, which replaced an older one. It was renovated in the reign of Patriarch Demetrius II in 1870 and adorned with a beautiful marble iconostasis that was decorated with more than thirty icons. The cathedral was reconstructed between 1950 and 1952, and was consecrated on November 9, 1952. The nineteenth-century marble iconostasis was dismantled and reused in the new building with its original icons, which date to the same period.
The cathedrals’ three sanctuaries are dedicated to St. Mark (center), St. Michael (north), and St. George (south). Above the three sanctuaries there is a scene representing the Last Supper. The reused nineteenth-century iconostasis betrays a preference for Greek-style icons. They include Christ, St. Mark, St Antony, and St. George (right); Virgin and Child, St. Dimyana, St. Paul the Theban, and St. Michael (left). The iconostasis is surmounted by the icons of the twelve apostles and other saints. The huge vault of the cathedral is supported by two rows of seven columns with modified Corinthian capitals. The cathedral’s western part was enlarged between 1985 and 1990, and an upper gallery was added. The cathedral’s belfries have been strengthened and house new bells from Italy.