Egypt is famous for its antecedents at the various stages in the industrial evolution of man and all of world's history. The North African nation state is part of what's been called the "cradle of civilization". It has successfully developed over the years, and its people have contributed greatly to our present-day appreciation for math, science and art. These developments remain a credible influence in history and religion as well.

While exploring Egypt in its full historical glory, our crystal ball beamed on the walls of an ancient site where the events of a famous biblical legend took place. This site is named the Saint Catherines' Monastery found in Egypt's South Sinai governorate.

Saint Catherines' Monastery, officially known as the Sacred Autonomous Royal Monastery of Saint Katherine of the Holy and God-Trodden Mount Sinai is an eastern orthodox Christian monastery located at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.
Aerial view of the Saint Catherines' Monastery
Built between ADs 548 and 565, it is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery in the world. According to biblical legend, the monastery was the region through which Moses was said to have led his people,eventually to the "Promised Land". Of course, one of the most exceptional locations is that of Mount Sinai, where Moses met with God who delivered to him the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Obviously, the region is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.

The monastery was built by order of Emperor Justinian I, and centuries later, the purported body of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, said to have been found in the area, was taken to the monastery; Saint Catherine's relics turned it into an important pilgrimage site, and the monastery was eventually renamed after the saint.
A scribe in front of the Codex Sinaiticus, the world’s oldest near-complete bible
Controlled by the autonomous Church of Sinai, which is part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, the monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 for its unique importance in the traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

The site also holds the world's oldest continually operating library with unique or extremely rare literary works, as well as possibly the largest collection of early Christian icons.

Inside the walled compound (of the monastery), lies the ornate 6th century Church of Transfiguration. This area is off-limits to the public.
Inside the Church of Transfiguration
The altar at the Chapel of the Burning Bush, the monastery's holiest site
The Well of Moses
High above the altar is one of the monastery’s most stunning artistic treasures, the 6th-century mosaic of the Transfiguration. Below the altar is the monastery’s holiest site, the Chapel of the Burning Bush. This area is closed to the public as well. Nearby the burning bush is the Well of Moses, a natural believed to grant wedded bliss to all who drink from it.

Above the Well of Moses is the Monastery Museum. Recently restored, it displays many of the monastery’s artistic treasures. There are precious chalices, ancient manuscripts, and gold and silver crosses. In the bottom room of the museum is the prize exhibit, the Codex Sinaiticus, the world’s oldest near-complete bible.
The Monastery Museum
The Monastery Library
The monastery’s library is the second largest in the world next to the Vatican and contains a priceless collection of illuminated bibles, ancient manuscripts, and a hand-written copy of the New Testament. All in all, the library houses over 2000 icons, said to be the most in the world, and over 4500 priceless manuscripts.

Today, travelers and pilgrims in Egypt are still drawn to the barren, mountainous core of the Sinai Peninsula to both visit the monastery and hike to the summit of Mount Sinai.

Saint Catherine's Monastery sits a few kilometers away from the small settlement of Al-Milga, which has a couple of hotels and budget hostels, as well as some simple restaurants. For keen hikers who want to explore the Sinai's desert mountains, this village is a good base.