Behind bell tower stands a mosque
built by Bedouins
during a time of Christian
persecution in the middle ages
Guests wait to enter the church
while the monastery's guestmaster (in beard and back hat) gives instruction
to Bedouin workers who are carrying carpets
For many centuries a pulley
operated elevator was the
only way to enter the walled
fortress of St. Catherine Monastery (see box in photo above).
of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai
Monks have lived in the Egyptian desert near
Mount Sinai since
the early 300s. In 330 AD Constantine's mother, the Empress Helena, built
a church at the site of the burning bush.
Justinian had a church and walled fortress built in 527. At present some
25 Greek Orthodox monks reside here. Many beautiful icons adorn the church,
including a 6th century Icon of Christ the Teacher (left above).A rare
bush next to the monastery church is believed by the Monks of St.
Catherine (see above photo far right) to be a shoot of the original burning
bush which Moses saw. A chapel on the right honors this spot as the
place where God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing
on holy ground.
View of monastery looking towards
Mount Sinai (right)
See also | Mount
Sinai | Sunrise
at Mountain | "Ecce
Homo" Group Pilgrimage |