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Saint Catherine Monastery

Saint Catherine Monastery




Location: South Sinai Governorate   Map





Description of the Monastery of Saint Catherine



The Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai located in the South Sinai Governorate of Egypt. It famous for being the oldest active Christian monastery. Monastery of Saint Catherine was constructed here in 527 on a site that was inhabited by Christian refuges who fled persecutions from the pagan emperors. According to a legend this is a site where Moses spoke to God that appeared to him in a form of a burning bush mentioned in the Book of Exodus. Main building of the Monastery of Saint Catherine is the Church of the Transfiguration there is an exhibition of icons and old books in the vestibule. It is only a small part of the whole collection that is owned by the monastery. Marble floors of the basilica and caisson ceiling date to the 18th century and gilded iconostasis to the 17th century. In the altar monks keep a silver casket of Saint Catherine's remains.
Over the alter stands the Chapel of the Burning Bush, the most sacred part of the monastery. You will have to remove your shoes before entering the chapel. The alter of the chapel, supported by the marble columns, stands on top of the place where Biblical shrubs was said to grow. A similar bush grows in the courtyard. The Monastery of Saint Catherine is particularly famous for its huge collection of 3,000 manuscripts. The bell tower of the monastery was added in the 19th century on donations from Russia. All of nine bells were also cast by the Russian masters.












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