Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  Besides the great church, there are twenty-seven
smaller churches or chapels dispersed over the convent, in many of which - Page 690
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Besides The Great Church, There Are Twenty-Seven Smaller Churches Or Chapels Dispersed Over The Convent, In Many Of Which Daily Masses Are Read, And In All Of Them At Least One Every Sunday.

The convent formerly resembled in its establishment that of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, which contains churches of various sects of Christians.

Every principal sect, except the Calvinists and Protestants, had its churches in the convent of Sinai. I was shewn the chapels belonging to the Syrians, Armenians, Copts, and Latins, but they have long been abandoned by their owners; the church of the Latins fell into ruins at the close of

[p.543] the seventeenth century, and has not been rebuilt. But what is more remarkable than the existence of so many churches, is that close by the great church stands a Mahometan mosque, spacious enough to contain two hundred people at prayers. The monks told me that it was built in the sixteenth century, to prevent the destruction of the convent. Their tradition is as follows: when Selim, the Othman Emperor, conquered Egypt, he took a great fancy to a young Greek priest, who falling ill, at the time that Selim was returning to Constantinople, was sent by him to this convent to recover his health; the young man died, upon which the Emperor, enraged at what he considered to be the work of the priests, gave orders to the governor of Egypt to destroy all the Christian establishments in the peninsula; of which there were several at that period.

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