Mount Catherine

Mount Catherine

How Is Mount Catherine Your Way to Walk Through The angels Amid Charming Nature?

Mount Catherine

Take the eye bird, and stand from a height of 2.629 m above sea level, where you will be at the highest spot in the whole Egypt, the cradle of civilization, to look around you finding yourself inside a jewel as the ice covers the streets and the trees in a charming view that will shine in your eyes in the winter, or the melting of the ice in the summer will perform valleys, and the trees become vibrant green, which seems like as a live art painting. So, this charming nature invites you to follow the holy steps in Mount Catherine.

While you see all Egypt in one magical view, looking down on an alluring landscape that will print of your mind, you will stand in the same spot the early monks walk to honor the body of Saint Catherine after she was killed by the Romans, and where the angels had carried her body and laid it down on top of the mountain peak. How that!

The Secret behind Mount Catherine

Mount Catherine

The mountain was called with this name in honor of Saint Catherine, who was one of the most important saints in Europe and had a great role in the spread of Christianity in Egypt. She died as a sacrifice for that in Alexandria by the Romans, and her body was disappeared from Alexandria, but the monks of a monastery found her body on top of the mountain, believing that the angels placed her body on the top of the mountain.

About the monks who had found the body of Saint Catherine, they were also escapers from the Roman oppression. Monasticism was meaning to live as a monk, escaping from the Roman violence in the 4th Century AD. So, the early Christians fled to remote regions of Egypt, especially the Firan Valley, El-Tur, and Mount Sinai, selecting far places away from Roman persecution and near water sources.

What Will The Road Of The Monks Lead You In Mount Catherine?

Mount Catherine

Amid this enchanting nature, while the rare plants decorate each street in a wonderful view to meet approximately 472 rare plant species, in addition to 19 endemic plant species that do not grow anywhere on the globe except in Mount Catherine, you can walk on the same way of the early monks to arrive at The chapel of Saint Catherine where the monks found her body in this exact spot.

Mount Catherine

Mount Catherine by USDA Forest Service

And near the chapel, you can relax in this natural and religious history of Mount St. Catherine, as there are two rooms in which visitors to the mountain can stay.

While you are charmed with the beauty of wild roses and the Sinai Pink Sparrows and the blackbirds are singing in your ears as they are flying above the fruit trees scattered everywhere on Mount Catherine, you may find animals that inhabit this mountain, which is considered a natural reserve since 1996, seeing on your way deer, hares, and Blanford’s fox.

You will find yourself harry up to open this door that is located in the center of a glorious historical building to enter it finding three heavy granite columns separate the corridors from each other, and their walls are decorated with paintings of the saints from top to bottom, and there is a mihrab containing a wonderful ornate sarcophagus bearing the remains of Saint Catherine, it is the Transfiguration Church, which is the focal point of the monastery built by order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.

And the church contains one of the most beautiful mosaic paintings, which is the Transfiguration Panel, which dates back to the year 542 AD and depicts the Transfiguration of Christ surrounded by prophets, saints, and apostles.

Mount Catherine by Dave_B_

Once you go out of this church, going through the road where 200 Roman soldiers were standing to protect the church against the attacks of the Bedouins, and after crossing the two towers that were placed on this church to secure it also, you will see a holy light coming from another sacred area, in fact, you will find a monastery, including the chapel known as the Virgin Mary, which is Princess Helena Monastery, the mother of Constantine the Great.

When you come close to be in this spot, know that you stand where it is believed that Prophet Moses received The Ten Commandments from God.

Sanctity afflicts everyone who approaches it, it is the only tree of its kind in the world that does not grow anywhere, and all attempts to plant it in any other soil have failed; it is the sacred burning bush tree.

Mount Catherine

When the Prophet Moses was looking for firewood for warming, this tree glowed with the light of God, and God Almighty transfigured and spoke to the Prophet.

While you are in full amazement standing in front of this holy tree, you will realize a set of stairs that lead to the monastery museum, also known as the sacred treasury, and the museum includes various collections of religious, artistic, and symbolic manuscripts in addition to a beautiful display of beautiful treasures dating back to ancient times.

In the first room of the museum, you can see one of the more symbols of fame in the whole monastery, which is a painting dating back to the 12th century AD, and on the lower floor of the monastery, there is a group of parchments and rare manuscripts dating back to the oldest sacred book in the world.

Mount Catherine

In front of the Transfiguration Church, a distinctive Fatimid building will catch your eye, so you will come close and find a small mosque with a unique design amid all this ancient religious history. The mosque was built in 1106 AD during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph, the Commander of Ahkam Allah, to be a station for pilgrims on their way to Mecca, who left numerous memorial writings that are still on the mosque’s mihrab until now.

The mosque’s layout is rectangular and is divided into six parts by semicircular arches of carved granite stone, three arches parallel to the qibla wall, the direction of a Muslim praying, and four perpendiculars to it. It has three main niches crowned with a four-center arch, as in the old part of the Azhar Mosque.

While you are amazing with these wonderful architectural details in the design at this holy spot, a wooden pulpit, a sign of beauty will attract your eyes to confuse in its decorations, while the unique minaret that is made of granite stone embraces the tower of the church, amidst a charming nature that captures hearts.

Mount Catherine

At this time, you will wish to know more about the secrets of this magical place as each inch will appear with a new surprise from nature, religions, and majestic history, to find a real treasure at this moment, as the monastery library will appear to you, to reveal more secrets.

It contains many of the greatest rare books in the world and many valuable ancient manuscripts that total more than 2000 manuscripts, including manuscripts in Greek, Syriac, Persian, Amharic, Arabic, Turkish and Russian.

Notes You Need To Know When Climbing Mount Catherine

  • It is preferable to climb Mount Catherine with a group and not alone; the climbing trip begins before dawn to watch the magic of sunrise from the summit or in the late afternoon to watch the gorgeous sunset. So, if you choose to see the sunset, make sure to bring a torch with you because the road will be dark and make sure to wear walking shoes suitable for long distances.
  • The monastery is open to visitors from 9:00 until noon, but you have to realize that in order to enter the monastery, the arms and legs must be covered at the knee, and it is forbidden to enter there with trousers, short skirts, and kat, whether for females or males.
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