Get Adobe Flash player
At the foot of the mountain where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments, lies the monastery. Early Christian hermits, searching seclusion from worldly affairs, were living around the holy mountain since the early times of Christendom.

After her visit to the impressive site of the Burning Bush Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, decided in 330 AD to let a chapel be build at the site; and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary.

Many travelogues from early pilgrims talked about the massacres among the monks. Finally in 527 AD Emperor Justinian ordered the construction of a fortress. Above the heavy wooden entrance wooden frames carry the names of Justinian, his wife Theodora and the architect's Stephanos.

St. Catherine is among the oldest Christian monasteries, and the smallest diocese in the world. The Monks today are Greek Orthodox and of different nationalities. The wealthy monastery has branches in Cairo, Cyprus and Crete.

Back to Egyptian Cities