The Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine, situated among the mountains of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, is the oldest continuously active monastery in the world. Recorded as a Christian pilgrimage site as early as the fourth century, it is located where Moses is thought to have seen the Burning Bush and to have received the Ten Commandments. In the sixth century, the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great (r. 527–67) ordered the building of an impressive church and fortifications for the Monastery to protect the surrounding imperial land. Later generations of pilgrims added gifts of icons, manuscripts, embroideries, altar furnishings, and other liturgical objects and works of art. The Holy Monastery still receives many pilgrims and visitors each year, attracted by its history, its sanctity, and its scenic beauty.
In this handsome and informative book, the Monastery and its buildings are presented in many newly commissioned color photographs: included are views of the richly decorated sanctuary of the sixth-century church as well as images of the world's most outstanding collection of icons. The Introduction by His Eminence Archbishop Damianos of Sinai and the essay on the Holy Monastery by Helen C. Evans augment the powerful and dramatic photographs of the site, some of them from the Monastery's archives. Additional photographs and the descriptive captions that accompany the pictures were provided by members of the Monastery's monastic community.