The Holy Family, arrived at “Gabal al-Tayr” area near Samalut, east of the Nile, coming from the village of “Albhansa” in the center of Bani Mazar, during their flight to Egypt.
The family stayed there in a mountain cave, and this place was an ancient Greek cemetery carved inside the rocks, and before it was a pharaonic place because on the columns there were pharaonic and Greek inscriptions.
After the Holy Family was present in it, this cave remained intact for 300 years, until the Church of Virgin Mary was established in it.
The church and the whole area around it is known by more than one name, among them: “Jabal Al-Kaf”. After Christ prevented a large rock from falling upon him and his mother when he supported the large rock with his small palm, his palm was imprinted on the rock, and the mountain became known as “Gabal al-kaf” or “mountain of the palm.” It is also known as the “Al-Bakra” monastery meaning the “pulley Monastry” because there was a pulley to lift a large wooden box that was used for climbing and descending from the mountain.
In this same blessed place, a carved church was established in the rock of the mountain by order of the Queen and Saint “Helena” in 328 AD.
Inside there is a cave called the “Cave of the Blessed Virgin” which is the cave where the Virgin stayed when she was on this mountain.
The church has an ancient antique wooden iconostasis with decorations executed with the combined fillings, topped with icons of the Virgin Mary, the saints.
The nave of the church is surmounted by a dome resting on areas of transmission from stone bridges, and the inner walls are surrounded by carved terraces to sit on, in addition to an uniquely carved baptism inside one of the columns of the church.
In the region of Jabal Al-Tair, there is a ficus tree more than 2000 years old and it has a strange shape and they called it “Al-Abed Tree” because all its branches are facing towards the ground and then rising again with green leaves upwards; it is said that this tree bowed to baby Jesus as he passed by it.