Located in the Mokattam Mountain in southeastern Cairo, Egypt, the Monastery of Saint Simon or the Cave Church is a beautiful and mystical location. The area is also known under the name of the “garbage city” because of the large population of garbage collectors or Zabbaleen that live here and who are the descendants of farmers who started migrating from Upper Egypt to Cairo in the 1940s.
The Cave Church was established here after a large group of Zabbaleen settled under the cliffs of Mokattam or Moquattam quarries at the eastern edge of the city, where they felt secure. In fact the church was built after a fire broke out in Manshiyat Nasir. Several more churches have been built into the caves in Mokattam, the Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner being the largest one in the Middle East with a seating capacity of 20,000.