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History has chosen Sinai to record many memories and events; Sinai the peninsula has the charm, captivation and holiness and is mentioned in the ancient Egyptian texts, Bible and Koran. It is famous for its turquoise and copper mines, and besides, it was the first military route in the ancient history and the pilgrims, way to Hejaz when the Islam shone over Egypt. Since the early Christian periods south Sinai was a great attraction for the Christian monks. 
 
The Monasticism as an escape from the Roman violence, spread in the 4th century A.D. specially in Firan valley, Al-Tur and the Mount of Moses and all are near the water sources. The Mount of Moses, 2242m above the sea level, has been a very special place not only for the Christians but also the Moslems. It is believed that it is the mountain Moses climbed and received the Tablets of the Law. 
 
St. Catherine Monastery

St. Catherine: She lived in Alexandria during the persecution of Christians in the reign of Maximinus (305-313A.D.) and for her adherence to the Christian faith; the Roman tortured her severely and strapped her to spiked wheel to tear her body, but in vain. Finally she was beheaded in 307 A.D. Five centuries later a monk saw a vision in which her body was carried by angels and laid on a peak of a mountain of Sinai.  Therefore the monks carried her relics to the church of the Transfiguration which was named for her beside the monastery, formerly called the Virgin and the mentioned mountain peak. 
 
The Monastery: In 342 A.D. Empress Helena mother of Constantine the great, built a monastery including the chapel known as the Virgin Mary at the burning bush, and in the 6th century, Emperor Justinian ordered the building of the church of Transfiguration in the same holy place. Both the church and monastery were later named for St. Catherine.

The Monastery lies at the foot of Sinai mountain, where the beauty of nature and climate and the fresh well water. To its west is Al-Raha Valley. This monastery is similar to the fortresses of the middle ages and is provided with a big wall of granite stones including towers at its corners and surrounding inner buildings one above the other with curved passages and corridors. The different designs of these buildings confirm that they date back to different periods. 
 
The height of the wall is from 12 to 15m., while the sides are 117, 80.77, and 76m.  The main gate at the western side is now sealed and to its left is the gate which is presently in use. The original building was destroyed except some parts of the walls and the church, while the remaining buildings date back to subsequent ages and the most of them to the recent century.
 
 
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