Lalibela occupies a dramatic position atop wide valleys and surrounded by weather-gouged escarpments beyond which jagged peaks rise. A place of faith, festivals, mystery and legends that will engage your heart as much as your mind. It is famous for its, the exact origins of the churches and their construction are still disputed, which is part of their attraction. What is certain is that Lalibela is no dusty relic visited by school groups and academics. Those 13 churches form the living, beating heart of spiritual Ethiopia, hosting the most famous celebrations of the festivals of Genna, Timkat and Meskel.
Known for its remarkable collection of crumbling castles, fortifications and 17th century churches, it’s only right that “Gonder” is often referred to as the “Camelot of Africa”. This small city in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia was the home to many emperors who ruled the country from the 12th century to the last decade of the 20th century.
As the home to the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant – artifact of Moses’ 10 commandments – Axum is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in northern African, dating back to 400 BC. Today, residents of the ancient city seem blissfully unaware of it’s glorious past that saw the Aksumite Empire thrive as a trading nation and major player in commerce between the Roman Empire and Ancient India.
This World Heritage site is often referred to as “Abyssinia” in medieval texts and is considered the heart of ancient Ethiopia. It is a marvel of obelisks, ruins of castles, undiscovered tombs, beautiful churches and other cultural treasures spanning several centuries and embracing different religions that make this a Brilliant recommended destination.
In Bahir Dar
Located in a depression of the northwest plateau, Lake Tana is home to about 37 islands and peninsulas, where some of the world’s oldest churches and monasteries are found, the most famous being the Kebran Gabriel. Kebran Gabriel is believed to have been built in the 14th century and contains a museum with old paintings and manuscripts. It is important to note this monastery is only open to male visitors and tourists.
Known for its famous array of markets, ‘Hyena men’ coupled with the ability to feed hyenas, old paintings which reach back in time, artifacts that span all cultures and beautiful women dressed in their colorful traditional clothing, it is really easy to get lost in the never-ending maze of the winding streets of Harar.
In Addis Ababa
Based on your preferences, there are several different museums to visit. The Museum of the Martyrs (Red Terror Museum), a memorial established in 2010 for the victims of the Marxist Derg regime. But the best museum in Addis Ababa is the National Museum of Ethiopia. The home of Lucy, the most famous skeleton of Australopithecus and our oldest hominid ancestor, might not be the largest or most luxurious museum in the world, but it offers a wide collection of artistic, historical, and archaeological exhibits.
Popular Trips Including Historic Monuments
Fusing history, culture, landscapes and wildlife along a perfectly paced circuit, this trip is a synthesis of the very best experiences on offer in Ethiopia’s northern highlands. Explorations of the ancient cities Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar and Lalibela are broken…