Throughout our history, civilizations all over the world have attached spiritual or religious importance to sacred places and natural wonders. These places have played a key-role in many cultures. Some are still used today for age-old rituals, ensuring that those traditions are passed on, while others have been lost to time.
Sacred Places is dedicated to sharing some of the amazing and breathtaking places that evoke a sense of peace and a feeling of awe for millions of visitors each year. Whether they are sacred places that have been man-made or natural wonders we want to share them here with you.
About Saint Catherine’s Monastery
Saint Catherine’s Monastery, officially “Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai” lies on the Sinai Peninsula, at the mouth of a gorge at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt in the South Sinai Governorate. The monastery is controlled by the autocephalous Church of Sinai, part of the wider Eastern Orthodox Church, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The site contains the world’s oldest continually operating library.
The library at St. Catherine’s is the oldest in the Christian world and preserves the second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts in the world (outnumbered only by the Vatican Library). Its collection includes more than 3000 manuscripts and more than 5000 early religious books.
The oldest record of monastic life at Sinai comes from the travel journal written in Latin by a woman named Egeria about 381-384. She visited many places around the Holy Land and Mount Sinai, where, according to the Hebrew Bible, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
In the early 4th century, St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, built the Chapel of the Burning Bush at the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the miracle.
The monastery’s actual name is the Monastery of the Transfiguration, but it later became associated with St. Catherine of Alexandria, a 3rd-century martyr whose head and hand were brought here for safe keeping in the 10th century.
A continual supply of fresh water is provided to the monastery by the Well of Moses, which taps an underground spring. According to tradition, this stands on the very spot where Moses met his future wife, Zipporah, after protecting her and her sisters from an aggressive group of local shepherds (Exodus 2:16-21).
Many visitors to St. Catherine’s Monastery also make the hike (or the camel ride) to the summit of Mount Sinai (2285m), a.k.a. Mount Moses or Mount Horeb. This is identified as the mountain where Moses received the Tablets of the Law from God. The main route to the summit is known as the Path of Moses and is lined with remains of various chapels.
This is on my bucket list!
May Your Steps Fulfill Their Purpose.