Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt

Geometry & Silence

The monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, is the oldest active Christian monastery in the world. It is the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the burning bush.

The monastery’s library holds a unique collection of Byzantine manuscripts second only to the vatican in scale. The site is sacred to both Christianity and Islam. A mosque was built within the walls of the monastery, but it has never been used since it is not correctly oriented towards Mecca.

Built between 548 and 565 the massive granite walls have stood for over fourteen centuries. The walls were repaired in 1801 during Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition. The bell tower was built in 1871 and contains nine bells of different sizes that were a gift of the Czars of Russia.

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