The Monastery of Rabba

To the west of the monastery is a site with a chapel, a house, and a garden, known as Deir Rabba (the Monastery of Rabba).

Rabba has been identified with Geth Rabbi, mentioned by Ammonius in his account of the Forty Martyrs of Sinai and Rhaithou — monks who were killed by Saracens in the […]

The West Wall of the Sixth Century Basilica

In the sixth century, artisans carved a cross and two palm trees from blocks of brittle granite, and set them into the west wall of the basilica.

In the middle of the day, the sunlight reaches the west wall, illuminating the outer rim of the cross first. Within a few moments, one palm tree and […]

A Cell Along the Parapet

An ancient cell along the parapet of the north wall. Two turtle doves are perched at the right corner of the roof.

Ὅτι ἰδοὺ ὁ χειμὼν παρῆλθεν, ὁ ὑετὸς ἀπῆλθεν, ἐπορεύθη ἐαυτῷ, τὰ ἄνθη ὤφθη ἐν τῇ γῇ, καιρὸς τῆς τομῆς ἔφθακε, φωνὴ τῆς τρυγόνος ἠκούσθη ἐν τῇ γῇ ἡμῶν. (Ἆσμα Ἀσμάτων β΄)

For, […]

The Wall Behind the Burning Bush

The wall behind the Burning Bush has weathered to reveal the materials from which it was constructed. In the middle of the day, the sun highlights the textures of wood, stone, brick, and plaster.

Bedouin Starbucks

The Sinai bedouin maintain stands along the trail to the peak of Mount Sinai, where they sell coffee, tea, water, and other items to help the pilgrims in their ascent. At the basin of the Prophet Elias, just below the summit, one enterprising bedouin posted this sign.


Steps to the Peak of Mount Sinai

Steps lead from the monastery to the peak of Mount Sinai, following the older, traditional route of ascent.

If there have been heavy rains in the winter, many plants and flowers emerge from the barren rocks the following spring.

Minaret and Bell Tower

The minaret and bell tower in the last rays of the setting sun.

From nearby, looking up. A turtle dove is perched on top of the cross.

From farther away, with a swallow flying overhead.

Καὶ γὰρ στρουθίον εὗρεν ἑαυτῷ οἰκίαν, καὶ τρυγὼν νοσσιὰν ἑαυτῇ, οὗ θήσει τὰ νοσσία ἑαυτῆς. Τὰ θυσιαστήριά σου, […]