Art: Treasures from Sinai

For 14 centuries the Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine has stood serene and safe beneath the shoulder of Mount Sinai. Founded in 527 by the Emperor Justinian, it is in one of the world's most inhospitable places. A traveler must drive 100 miles southeast from Suez across jagged wilderness, then turn off along a succession of dry stream beds for an eight-hour climb to the gates, 5,000 feet above the Red Sea. Its one tiny door swings open only for men bearing letters of introduction from the Greek Archbishop of Cairo.

The few travelers who reached it came back with...

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