'Bell tower and minaret at St Catherine's' greeting card
Saint Catherine’s Monastery has both a church and a mosque within its walls. These stand next to each other, emblems of peace in a turbulent world. The church was constructed in the middle of the sixth century at the command of the Emperor Justinian. The mosque and minaret were converted from existing structures in the eleventh century. The bell tower was built in 1871 by Iakovos Varoutes, a master mason from the Greek island of Tenos. It rests on stone foundations that date from the sixth century. The belfry contains nine bells, gifts from Russian donors at the time of the Emperor Alexander II.
Photograph by Fred Boissonnas
18 April 1929