GIRGA, or Girgeh, a town of Upper Egypt on the W. bank of the Nile, 313 m. S.S.E. of Cairo by rail and about to m. N.N.E. of the ruins of Abydos. Pop. (1907) 19,893, of whom about one-third are Copts. The town presents a picturesque appearance from the Nile, which at this point makes a sharp bend. A ruined mosque with a tall minaret stands by the river-brink. Many of the houses are of brick decorated with glazed tiles. The town is noted for the excellence of its pottery. Girga is the seat of a Coptic bishop. It also possesses a Roman Catholic monastery, considered the most ancient in the country. As lately as the middle of the 18th century the town stood a quarter of a mile from the river, but is now on the bank, the intervening space having been washed away, together with a large part of the town, by the stream continually encroaching on its left bank.
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