Historical Attraction

Ethiopia is a country of ancient civilization and culture, which date back to 700 BC. The famous Axumite Kingdom reigned until the 6th century with their dominance over the whole Red Sea, leaving their ligancy on the giant obelisks still standing in Axum town its surroundings. Debre Damo -76 km from Axum, is another important historic site, especially due to the monastery dating back to the Axumite era. At Yeha, you will find the 5th century BC Temple of the Moon, emanating from a remote age civilization.

Mekele, located at the north most border of Ethiopia, is another home to rock-hewn churches and is famous for its over 200 churches. It was the capital of Emperor Yohannes IV, who reigned in Tigray between 1871 and 1889. The town was then an important camel caravan transit stopover and a thriving trade centre. Today, the emperor's palace has been turned into a remarkable museum with notable exhibits from the past. Around Tigray, you can visit Negash, the site of the first mosque constructed in Ethiopia.

Lalibela, was the seat of the Zagwe dynasty that rose around the 12th century. Lalibela lies camouflaged against the landscapes dominated by Mount Abuna Yosef that rises to 4,200 m. The 11 Rock hewn churches of Lalibela were hewn from the pink granite bedrock of the Roha Mountain. Credited to King Lalibela (1185-1225), the rock churches are a sight to behold and are no doubt one of the most incredible creations of man in service to God.

Gondar, a town on the lower slopes of the Simien Mountains northwest of Ethiopia, is home to many old-fashioned castles, palaces and beautifully constructed and decorated churches. Portuguese travellers in the 1520's had little to report on Gondar, as it was then a small village without any distinction. By 1630 however, Gondar was the capital of Ethiopia. Gondar owes it rise to Emperor Fasilidas the Great (1632 -1667) and his successors in the period 1632 to 1855.
The city declined thereafter, when Tewodros II moved his capital to Debre Tabor. Muslim dervish subsequently looted the capital in 1887.

The castles were built with the help of Portuguese and other foreign experts; an Indian architect designed the most magnificent of them. The architectural style combines Axumite, medieval European and Arabian influences. Gondar has a spectacular view of the Lake Tana farmlands. Within the area you will also come across the bathing palace of Emperor Fasilidas


Lake Tana
Lake Tana, Ethiopia's largest lake is the source of the Blue Nile. The lake is dotted with 37 islands hosting some enthralling 13th century churches, monasteries, monuments and archaeological treasures. Of particular interest, is Dek Stephanos, which has a treasury of priceless religious icons, and is the burial place of several medieval emperors, including Yekuno Amlak and Fasilidas. Once here, be sure to visit Kebran Gabriel, and Ura Kidane Mehret -which is renowned for its colourful frescoes.

Bahir Dar
Bahir Dar, south of the lake, is the focal point for touring the Lake Tana region. Visitors enjoy boat cruises around the lake, which is also excellent for bird viewing and is a nature lover's paradise. Make sure to enjoy views of the magnificent Tisisat Falls, formed as the Blue Nile cascades down 45 meters, over a river width of 400 m.

Harar is an amazing and amusing place to tour. This early 16th century eastern Ethiopian city was once an important trade centre and is famous for its ancient Arabic structures, great city walls, and the French poet Rimbaud's house. Harar is an Islamic centre with at least 99 mosques, and is considered to be the fourth holiest Islamic city, after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.


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