Mount Sinai

Saint Catherine Monastery, Mount Sinai

The first thing you must think of when talking about Mount Sinai is the biblical story of Moses. This is where he spent 40 days before receiving the 10 Commandments. Even today this is still one of the most popular places. The Arabic name of Mount Sinai means just that, Mosaic Mountain.

Mount Sinai is measured at a height of 2642 meters and is the second highest of the Sinai Peninsula.

Saint Catherine Monastery, Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai is very rocky and the rock mass is of alkaline granite. What impresses, is the fact that it is different in shape and size of the rock cliffs and pinnacles, which is evidence that they were formed at various depths.

At the foot of mount Sinai the monastery St. Catherine was built. This is probably the longest non-stop working monastery in the world. It was built between 527 and 565 by Emperor Justinian I. According to legend it was there that Moses saw the burning bush, which is the statement that was chosen by the prophet. Because of its priceless historical importance it has been declared by UNESCO list of World Heritage.

If you are physically able you should try to climb the so called, Steps of Repentance, which are definitely a challenge. There are several hiking trails, which can help you to reach the top, but this is the shortest and yet most of them are tiresome. The Camel Trail merges with the steps of repentance in the cave of the prophet Elijah. It was there that it is believed that God spoke of the biblical prophet.

At the very top is the chapel of the Holy Trinity. This Eastern Orthodox Church is incredibly beautiful with its interior frescoes and was built in 1934 on the ruins of a temple that was destroyed.

The only way to arrive at Mount Sinai is by road transport. Mount Sinai is about three hours drive from Sharm El Sheikh. Many of the pilgrims and tourists stay overnight or arrive there at 1.00 hours in the morning to climb the mountains and desert to meet the sunrise from the top.



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