Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  No one could tell me
their names, nor the period at which they resided here. At the

DJEBEL MOUSA

[p - Page 717
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No One Could Tell Me Their Names, Nor The Period At Which They Resided Here.

At the

DJEBEL MOUSA

[p.565] entrance of the charnel houses is the picture of the hoary St. Onuphrius. He is said to have been an Egyptian prince, and subsequently one of the first monks of Djebel Mousa, in which capacity he performed many miracles.

After two days repose in the convent and its delightful garden, I set out for the holy places around it, a pilgrimage which I had deferred making immediately on my first arrival, which is the usual practice, that the Arabs might not confound me with the common run of visitors, to whom they shew no great respect. The Djebalye enjoy the exclusive right of being guides to the holy places; my suite therefore consisted of two of them loaded with provisions, together with my servant and a young Greek. The latter had been a sailor in the Red sea, and appeared to have turned monk chiefly for the sake of getting his fill of brandy from the convent’s cellar.

May 20th.—We were in motion before sunrise for the Djebel Mousa or Mountain of Moses, the road to which begins to ascend immediately behind the walls of the convent. Regular steps were formerly cut all the way up, but they are now either entirely destroyed, or so much damaged by the winter torrents as to be of very little use. After ascending for about twenty-five minutes, we breathed a short time under a large impending rock, close by which is a small well of water as cold as ice; at the end of three quarters of an hour’s steep ascent we came to a small plain, the entrance to which from below is through a stone gateway, which in former times was probably closed; a little beneath it stands, amidst the rocks, a small church dedicated to the Virgin.

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