The amazing holy land site of Saint Catherine’s Monastery is located in the triangular are in Egypt between the El-Tih desert, the Suez Gulf, and the Gulf of Aquaba, and made of granite-rock that matches the colors of Mount Sinai.
The earliest description to the monastery refers to the Monastery of the Holy Virgin, because of the revelation of God at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3 ) and seen as a metaphor of the Virgin Mary and the incarnation. The monastery commemorates the holy prophets Moses and Elias, both of which came to Mount Sinai, and witnessed Christ in the Transfiguration.
Moses led the Israelites through the rugged mountains in to Israel, the Promise Land, and due to this the Holy Land location has been a huge magnet and sacred destination for Christians on Holy Land tours, after all God appeared to Moses and delivered the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20).
The monastery is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and was built from 548 to 565, and is today one of the oldest working monasteries in the Christian world that was never destroyed during it’s long history.
The Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai, know as it’s official name has a long rich history, and is described by many as mostly unknown jewel for Christian Pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Original construction of the Burning Bush Chapel was done by the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, however the large monastery was constructed by Emperor Justinian, who’s goal was to protect monks in the area whom worked at the Mount Sinai site.
The monastery bares it’s name from a Christian princess from Alexandria, whom is believed to have converted thousands to the Christian faith. Saint Cathrine became a martyr in the area of Mount Sinai at the hands of a pagan emperor, and according to tradition angles carried her after death to Mount Sinai, where she was buried and discovered 500 years later at the top of a peak which is now named after her. Some relics are housed in a marble reliquary in the monastery’s basilica.
St Catherine’s Monastery as a formidable made fortress for anyone wishing to enter and conquer by force, with solid granite walls that measure 8 to 35 meters tall with only one single entrance door that is 30 feet high, where people and supplies needed to be lifted in a system of pulleys. Withstanding numerous attacks over it’s 1400 year history, the monastery has protected large collections of art that include precious manuscripts, and some of the oldest bibles known to man.
The monastery has in recent times become a major holy land destination visited by thousands of Christians and those of Jewish faith alike. Because of this a small town has flourished nearby the monastery named Saint Katherine City.
You’ll experience Saint Catherine Monastery to be a highlight of your Holy Land tour, specially those whom are willing and able to take the option of climbing-up Mt. Sinai Jabal Musa (6,900 ft) to the summit walking on the Foosteps of Moses, and enjoying a time for praise at one of the most dramatic views you’ll ever have of the Sinai wilderness.