Enclosing itself protectively around the alleged site of the burning bush, God’s chosen media to communicate with Moses, St Katherine’s Monastery shares the distinction of being one of the world’s oldest working Christian Monasteries. Around 20 Greek Orthodox monks reside there.
The Byzantine Emperor Justinian fortified a fourth century chapel, dedicated to Christian martyr St Katherine, and built the Monastery in the sixth century.
As a religious site the Monastery’s significance is felt by millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews. As a tourist attraction it is a pleasant drive through an arid national park to share a peek at a bush with a large crowd. The bush is no more interesting than any other bush I’ve ever seen.
Free. An additional fee is required to view the collection of icons and manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, housed in the Sacred Sacristy.
Tours from Dahab cost around E£150. Do it yourself by bus and the fare plus entrance fee to St Katherine’s Protectorate, a 4350 square kilometre national park, will cost about a third of the tour price.
Our visit to St Katherine’s Monastery was provided courtesy of Dahab Safari.