Saint Catherine’s Monastery was built in AD 330 at the behest of the Empress of Rome Helena. The edifice is comprised simply of a modest chapel which is supposed to have been the location of a burning bush (a reference to the biblical text in which God talked to the Prophet Moses) (a reference to the biblical passage in which God spoke to the Prophet Moses). The church functioned as a shelter for hermits.
In the 6th century, a new edifice was erected on the site, commanded by Emperor Justinian, a form of fortification surrounding the previously existing chapel. The emperor also constructed a monastery and a cathedral to the site, devoted to the monastic community and also to Christian refugees.
The monastery has been named a Globe Heritage Site by UNESCO, and yearly gets thousands of visitors from all over the world, pilgrims or simply tourists who wish to take a closer look at this highly significant site for history and Christians.
What will you discover at the monastery?
The site still acts as a monastery, thus visitors should wear more suited attire while visiting the site. The monastery houses a library with extremely ancient religious texts and publications, as well as the Church of the Transfiguration (where the remains of St. Catherine are interred), the Burning Bush Chapel, the Sanctuary, the Abbey Museum, and the Abbey Museum.
Well of Moses (this spot is particularly fascinating, it is thought that people who drink from its water are fortunate in love) (this place is very curious, it is believed that those who drink from its water are lucky in love). It is crucial to realize that not all attractions at the Santa Catarina Monastery are available to the public, and others have limited access.
Combine your visit to the location to also view the sunset atop Mount Sinai (Jebel Musa), a wonderful sight of nature.
St. Catherine’s Monastery Mountain
The highest peak on the Sinai Peninsula is Mount Saint Catherine, whose height reaches 2,646 meters. From the peak, you can view the Red Sea and the highlands of mainland Egypt.
How can I go to Saint Catherine’s Monastery?
Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai is situated at the foot of Mount Moses and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the area. It is around 450 kilometers from Cairo, 200 km from Dahab, and 300 km from the Suez Canal.
There is no international airport there, and the simplest method to travel to there is through Sharm El Sheikh Airport, then ground transportation.
For those who opt to go by automobile from Cairo to Sinai, the road passes via Suez and Ras Sidr, here is where Musa converted bitter water into sweet. The trail continues via Abu Suminah and Wadi Qandil until it reaches Abu Rudeis when the road separates. The road to the south goes to the city of Sharm el-Sheikh. The route to the east passes via Jebel Serbal, Pharaoh’s Oasis, Tarfa, and Deir Sinai.
St. Catherine’s Monastery operating hours
St. Catherine’s Monastery is open all days of the week, except for Fridays and holidays.
If you wish to visit Saint Catherine’s Monastery, plan a private trip with Amon Ra Tours that leave from Cairo or Sharm El Sheikh. For detailed Egypt travel itineraries, check out our Egypt tours selections.