Wadi Feiran is part of the Tentative list of Egypt in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Wadi Feiran is an oasis that holds ruins of a monastery from the 5th century. There are many caves in the area where monks and hermits lived. There is also a modern, functioning convent. The wadi lies close and on the way to St. Catherine’s Monastery.
Map of Wadi FeiranLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Like the other Egyptian tentative sites from this period, the description is not very clear. This makes it difficult to visit, because you aren’t exactly sure what would be the component parts if it were actually listed.
Wadi Feran is a large valley that stretches along a portion of the main road between St. Catherine and the western edge of the Sinai Peninsula. When traveling back from St. Catherine to Sharm, I asked the driver to take the long way to stop at Wadi Feran and to see some of the sites along the way. Several monastic ruins can be viewed from the road, and I visited the Greek Orthodox Convent, Deir el Banat, and saw the ruins behind the working convent.
This is an area that could easily be explored over several days trekking with a local guide, as there’s a lot of history here. Perhaps I’ll one day have the chance to do that. Overall, it seems more like an extension to St. Catherine’s Monastery than a separate world heritage site, which is the reason for the down vote.
Dr Maria Caruana Fleagle
We traveled twice to Wadi Feiran; in 1994 we spent four days climbing Jebl Seirbal and exploring the wadi leading up to it. In 1996 we again visited the site, measuring some of the ruins we found there. Among the interesting artifacts was found an oval basin carved into a stone with a square frame around the edge. Given the position of the artifact on the wadi floor, we assumed it had fallen from a height above. Whether it was from Bible times or prehistory, we do not know.
On Jebl Seirbal is a spring called The Gate (Ein Sha'Ar'Ani), which is at @ 4000' MSL. This spring flows at about 5 gal/min and disappears underground not too far from the rock face it flows from. The water is very good, as it is stored in the granite t'fun of the peaks of Seirbal.
Another very interesting phenomenon is a rock pedestal 250' above the laura on the east side of the wadi. We called it Moses' Seat, as we found that words spoken there could be heard as far as the wadi floor, perhaps 500' below. The laura here are not carved into the side of the living rock, as they are on the western side of the wadi, but they are built of stacked stone much like the Nawamis. These laura are double-wall insulated, again borrowing from Nawamis. The ruins of an old monastery lie to the south and above these lauras.
Some inscriptions can be found on the south side of the wadi. They do not appear to be Nabataean, as at Wadi Muqtab; I propose they are not alphabetic but hieroglyphic.
1994 Added to Tentative List
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