Girga (gĭrˈ–) [key] or Jirja jĭrˈjă, town (1986 pop. 71,564), central Egypt, on the Nile. It is noted for its pottery; a sugar refining industry was established in the 1980s. The town is the seat of a Coptic bishop and derives its name from the old Mara Girgis Coptic monastery, which was dedicated to St. George. A Roman Catholic monastery, said to be the oldest in Egypt, is in Girga. Nearby is the ancient city of Abydos.