St. Catherine Monastery

From: Egypt Travel GuideMount Sinai

See also: St Paul MonasterySt Anthony Monastery


St. Catherine Monastery, Egypt
The fortified St. Catherine Monastery was built by the Emperor Justinian roughly around 527 AD and is one of the oldest and best preserved monasteries in the world and has been an incredible pilgrimage site for many hundreds of years. The St Catherine Monastery and local area are now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains many areas of interest.

The monastery is considered to be positioned on the site where Moses encountered the burning bush whilst talking with God and it was shortly after this that Moses climbed to the top of Mount Sinai and received the 10 commandments.

The monastery has a church built on the sacred spot of the burning bush which was a rose bush called Rubus Sanctus, this type of bush is both very long lived and prevalent to the area. The Monastery gets all its water from a unique underground spring called the Fountain of Moses.

Other areas of interest are the Fatmid Mosque, the Basilica which is beautifully decorated and contains many mosaics and works of art and lying next to the alter is a sarcophagus. There is also the library and intricately detailed Icon collection which together form one of the most spectacular and well preserved collections of religious artwork and manuscripts in the world.

Whilst visiting the Monastery take the time to climb one of the peaks that form Mount Sinai, the view from the top is truly spectacular especially at sunrise and there is a route of stairs which is known as the Steps of Penitence, although if you do not fancy climbing 3750 steps you can take the longer route on the back of a camel, be prepared though it is a long trek to the top and walking can take around 3 and a half to 4 hours.

Attraction Location Guide
The Monastery is located close to the village of St Katherine at the base of Mount Sinai which is about 75 kilometers away from Sharm El Sheikh.