The first doorway north of the museum gate leads to the Greek Orthodox Monastery and Church of St George. St George (Mar Girgis) is one of the region’s most popular Christian saints. A Palestinian conscript in the Roman army, he was executed in AD 303 for resisting Emperor Diocletian’s decree forbidding the practice of Christianity. There has been a church dedicated to him in Coptic Cairo since the 10th century; this one dates from 1909.
The neighbouring monastery is closed to visitors. The Coptic moulid (saints’ festival) of Mar Girgis is held here on 23 April.