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The Fotos

  • View from the Balcony

  • Excursion to Cairo
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Pharao's Housekeeping
  • Pyramides
  • Sphinx

    Excursion to the Monastery of St. Catherine and to Mount Moses
  • Sunrise
  • In the Sinai Mountains
  • Walking down to the Monastery
  • The Monastery

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  • The Monastery of St.Catherine

    Excursion to the Sinai, February 2002

    The Monastery of St Catherine is located on a plateau closely between St.Catherine's mountain and Mose's mountain on a height of 1.570 ms. It is the oldest monastery of Christianity. It is orthodox Greek and the abbot is implemented by the patriarch of Jerusalem.

    Already in the fourth century many Christians of the early years combined the walking on biblical paths with the search for self finding by the solitude of the desert and settled down at this place. Here God should have spoken through the burning thornbush to Moses. On the mountain next door the 80-year-old should have received the 10 holy laws. In the year 327 emperor Constantin and his mother Helena visited the place by a pilgrimage.

    In the year 527 Emperor Justinian gave the order to build the monastery. The walls are 15 m high. At Justinian's time here lived up to 400 monks. Today only 25 are left, 20 of them from Greece. The monastery possesses one of the most important collections of old icons and old manuscripts at all. However, non Vips have access to the library. But which tourist would read ancient Greek, Aramaic, old Iranian or Arab ?

    Holy Catherine of Alexandria is the name patron of the monastery. She was a young girl of a good family, intelligent, well educated and beautiful. In the time of persecution of Christians in the beginning of the 4th century, she tried to convert emperor Maximanus. She was beheaded. It is said that from her corpse no blood but milk should have flowed. Today a piece of the pillar to which she was tied, should be in the monastery. Besides, there is a - meanwhile dried up - fountain, from which already Moses should have drunk (Moses is not a historic person !).

    The high walls of the monastery show that the monks did not feel here very save. From 622 on they formed a lonely Christian island in the midst of an Islamic ocean. However, possibly they possessed a letter of protection personally issued by the prophet Mohammed. He remembered that once he was well accepted here, before he established his new religion. In the eleventh century they built a small mosque within the monastery walls to calm down the particularly bloodthirsty caliph Al Hakim.

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