Nestled in the weathered and barren mountains of the Sinai peninsular is the Bedouin town of St Katherines, sitting at the foot Mt Sinai. Although not the highest mountain in the range it is one of the worlds most famous and has been a place of pilgrimage for thousands of years for it is here that Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments; in fact the local name for Mt Sinai is Jebel Musa, or Moses’ Mountain. Whilst St Katherines is a relatively small town it is famed for the mountain and the monastery. St Katherines monastery has existed in one form or another for at least 1600 years and is one of the oldest in the world. Within the city walls are one of the greatest collections of Christian works outside of the Vatican, pristine Coptic frescoes and a charnel house containing the remains of all the monks who have died here! Also on display is a thick growth which is said to be the Burning Bush - one of Moses visions of the almighty.
It is traditional to walk the camel path up the mountain during the night and watch the sun rise, before taking steps carved straight out of the mountain side back down to visit the monastery itself, where - except on religious holidays - visitors are welcome.
The desolate yet moving scenery, historical importance, spiritual past and Bedouin hospitality will make a visit here one of your most cherished Egyptian memories.
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