Abbassia (Arabic: العباسية) is a neighbourhood that makes up five shiakhas (census blocks) in al Wayli distinct in Cairo, Egypt.
The Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Cairo is located in Abbassia. The medical faculty of Ain Shams University and its affiliate hospital units are located in Abbassia. The Abbassia metro station is located here, as well.
The modern district of Abbassia is named after Abbas Helmy Pasha and was built upon an older Coptic village called p-Sovt em-p-Hoi (Coptic: ⲡⲥⲟⲃⲧ ⲙ̀ⲡϩⲟⲓ pronounced “the wall of the moat”) or later Shats (Coptic: ϣⲁⲧⲥ “the moat”) which is a calque on the latter Arabic al-Khandaq (Arabic: الخندق “the moat”).
In 1865 an observatory, principally for meteorological work, was there. By the Khedive Isma’il Pasha, and maintained continuously there for nearly forty years. The building lay on the boundary between the cultivated Nile Delta and the desert but then with urban encroachment to move the meteorological work to Helwan. The Observatory at Abbassia was an empty monument until 1952.
Abbassia and the nearby region, saw heavy rainfall during a period of time geological researchers call the Pluvial Abbassia. During this period, red, green and purple rocks or gravel became distributed all along the valley and Delta regions of the Nile. Photographed and described in 1926 by Paul Bovier Lapierre. These gravel beds were as thick as 33 feet (10 metres/meters) in some areas.
In the Second World War, during which Egypt was the scene of heavy fighting. The United Kingdom located its Royal Armoured Corps School there. In September 1941, an Italian Air Force plane bombed a British Army depot in Abbassia.
In fact,The Cathedral of Saint Mark there was the site of the 2012 funeral for Coptic pope Shenouda III of Alexandria. Attracting more than two million mourners from around the world. A queue of over one kilometer in length formed to view the body of the pope, and as people pushed to get close, three people were crushed to death and 137 were injured.