St Catherine’s Abbey As well as The Holy Place Of El Khadem, Sinai Pensinsula Egypt



At the foot of Mount Sinai or Mount Moses as it is sometimes understood you will see St. Catherine’s Monastery. The abbey was built by the order of Emperor Justinian in between 527 and 565.

It is thought to enclose Moses’ Burning Bush, which has actually a chapel constructed atop it. The bush is there to this day, whether it is the initial or not, we will certainly never ever know yet it can be seen inside the abbey.

The abbey is an amazing all-natural setting for valuable artworks, consisting of Arab mosaics, Greek as well as Russian symbols, Western oil paintings, paints on wax, fine sacerdotal ornaments, marbles, enamels, chalices, reliquaries, including one contributed by Czar Alexander II in the 19th century, and also one more by Empress Catherine of Russia in the 17th century.

Possibly of also greater importance is that it has the second largest collection of illuminated manuscripts (The Vatican has the largest).

The Abbey even has a small 10th or 11th century mosque which was most likely constructed to quell the Islamic authorities of the time.

There is additionally a small chapel (the Church of St. Triphone, likewise known as the Head House) which houses the heads of departed monks.

St. Catherine’s Monastery has an abundant background, it is a shining example of an obscure Jewel of travel. It has been called the oldest working Christian monastery, though St. Anthony’s precedes it, and the tiniest diocese in the world. St. Catherine’s antiques, whose body was supposedly brought away by angels, are saved in a marble reliquary in the Basilica.

The Abbey is also a formidable stronghold, with granite walls 40 to 200 feet high, bordered by gardens and cypresses. Prior to approx.

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the twentieth century, the only entry to the Abbey was a small door 30 feet up, where arrangements as well as individuals were lifted with a system of wheels, and also where food was usually decreased to wanderers.

It has actually stood up to countless strikes over its 14 hundred year presence and has actually protected an abundant option of art.

While it is among the earliest abbeys in the world, its original, preserved state is unrivaled. Though developed and purchased from a lot of its history by the Russian Orthodox Church, it is currently under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Church. Most of its monks are likewise of Greek beginning.


The temple of El-Khadem is among the most interesting and also crucial archaeological sites of the Sinai. You can access it through the easy route from Abu Zenima or by the harder course calling for a 4 wheel drive increasing the Wadi Mukkatab.

Wadi Mukkatab indicates “Valley of the engravings” owing to several Nyzantine and also Nabatean graffiti carved on its wall surfaces. Wadi Mukkatab begins in the ‘southerly part of Wadi Fairan.

The holy place is high on a plateau 850 meters up, with a magnificent rocky parapet at the end. You can reach it by following the steep path up the mountainside. In this area there are big copper and turquoise mines that were mined intensively throughout the Pharaonic age.

The mines are concentrated in a round area of approx 1.2 kilometers to the southwest of the holy place. Several of their passages and also galleries have noticeable inscriptions mostly going back to the Center Kingdom (2056-1750B. C).

The holy place was constructed likely by semi-nomadic Semites throughout the IX Empire (1955-1750 BC) – these Semites worked in the nerdy mines.

At the time of the XII Dynasty, the holy place included a rock chapel devoted to Hathor, “Lady of Turquoise”. Then other spaces were added that were committed to the God Sopdu, “Lord of Foreign Lands”. New expansion work was undertaken throughout the XVIII Dynasty (1550-1292 BC) when the lengthy series of spaces were constructed which provided the temple of Serabit el-Khadem its existing appearance.

The last 2 western most rooms, were added throughout the Ramesside time. The last king pointed out in the holy place is a pharaoh of the XX Empire (1295-1188B. C) (Ramse) VI.

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