But the monastery, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, also holds other places of honor. For example, it accommodates the oldest continuously operating active library in the world.
From the day it was founded in the 6th century (between 548 and 565, according to chronicles), the library of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai has never closed its doors. Built during the reign of Justinian I, the monastery was originally sponsored by the mother of Constantine the Great, Empress Helena. Its walls are still home to ancient Roman scrolls dating back to the days when the monastery itself was founded, which makes St. Catherine’s the second largest collection of codices and manuscripts in the world, right after the Vatican Library in Rome. In fact, from this monastery comes the famous Codex Sinaiticus, the biblical text dated to the year 345