Pilgrims continue to journey to the “New Jersualem,” built in reaction to the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land.
For centuries, Christian pilgrims — and tourists — have travelled to the mountainous region of northern Ethiopia to visit the 11 spectacular medieval churches carved out of rock.
After Muslim conquests blocked Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land, King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, who ruled Ethiopia in the late 12th century and early 13th century, set out to construct a “New Jerusalem,” which remains a pilgrimage site and place of devotion to this day.
Christianity’s roots in Ethiopia go back to the time of the Apostles, who in the first century A.D. set out to spread the Gospel throughout the world. By the 4th century, it was adopted as the state religion during the reign of the ancient Aksumite emperor Ezana.
Over in the east of Ethiopia, as you head towards the Djibouti border, the ancient city of Harar is a rare gem in an otherwise pretty, desolate landscape.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this walled civilisation has long been an important trading centre, situated strategically between the Red Sea and the great empires of inland Africa.
Having withstood its fair share of invasions and conquests, Harar has stayed strong in maintaining its own distinct flavour and character, with the local people here undeniably proud of their traditions and culture.
As such, Harar is a totally unique destination with Ethiopia – a unique enough country in its own right!
This makes a trip to Harar an exciting part of any travel in Ethiopia. Taking the time to spend in its markets and streets give glimpse into life of a city that changed little.
Addis Ababa- A restoration program aimed at replacing the temporary shelter of one of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Bete Golgotha Mikael, will start this month, Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) disclosed.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, ARCCH Cultural Heritage Conservation Director Hailu Zeleke said study of the project had to pass through critical evaluation from all stakeholders before approval.
The study conducted by international companies was followed by the assessment of Addis Ababa University and experts from the Authority.
According to the Director, the restoration is expected to get finalized by the middle of July this same year.
The rehabilitation project experience of Biete Golgotha Church is a pilot project to restore the other “Wonders of Lalibela,” Hailu revealed.
The U.S Ambassador’s AFCP program and World Monuments Fund cover the conservation cost of Biete Golgotha.
TWILIGHT had enveloped the Simien Mountains, high up on the roof of Africa, when a series of high-pitched screams pierced the cold night air. The din increased. Shifting position on the rocks where I was seated, I waited patiently.
There was movement to my left and, as my eyes adjusted to the dark, a troop of some 100 Gelada baboons suddenly appeared from the plains below, heading towards the rocky cliffs for the night. As they nimbly descended the rock face and entered the caves for protection from hyenas, leopards and wolves, they squabbled amongst themselves.
The dominant male bared his enormous canine teeth and, for nearly half an hour, chased away bachelors before each baboon found its own shelter and quiet was restored. This phenomenon, I learned, is a nightly occurrence in the Simien Mountains.
New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s beautiful ancient city of Harar has been selected by the editors of the National Geographic magazine as among the best places in the world to visit in 2018.
Harar — a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized in 2006 for its cultural heritage — is home to many mosques some of which date back to the 10th century as well as over a hundred shrines for saints. Harar’s historical architectures include the famous five gates of the city, the Medhane Alem Cathedral, Jami Mosque built in the 16th century, and the residence of Haile Selassie’s father, Ras Mekonnen who served as Governor.
Ethiopia’s colorful and ancient city of Harar is also considered the fourth holiest city in Islam and known as the City of Saints. “Harar was an important centre between the coast and interior highlands and a location for Islamic learning”.
Negotiation is underway between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to find lasting solution to the threats facing the Lalilbel’s monolithic Rock-Hewn Churches.
Years ago, a metal roof was erected as temporary solution to protect possible cracks and damages caused by sun slights. But the shelter has not been removed for several years.
Some residents fear that the protective shield could be damaging to the churches, Getu Asefa, UNESCO Cultural Program Officer told The Ethiopian Herald. Negotiation is ongoing between the ministry and UNESCO to put in place other mechanisms that were proved effective in other churches such as Bete Geberael and Bete Rufael.
The metal shelters were meant to shield the churches from winds and sun light and should have been removed earlier as possible collapses may damage the churches.
Feeling inspired? These eight carefully chosen trekking trips offer a sublime adventure you’ll never forget.
These trekking trips are not for the faint-hearted nor for the narrow-minded. A great trail is bound to make you look at more than the map and these eight carefully chosen paths are sure to do just that. With their scenic, unparalleled beauty, adventure travel involving these treks are not only meant to give you a fitter pair of lungs but to be, in the purest sense of the word, life-changing.
Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland
There’s a reason why the Tour du Mont Blanc captivates around 20,00 climbers each year.
With their offers of eternal life, churches can seem like timeless places that are recognizable the world over. Yet people have always shaped their places of worship according to the style of the time and the fashion of their culture.
Churches are as varied as the people who build them—and some of them can seem very strange to most of us. Here are 10 fascinating churches from around the world which may not be like your local parish house of prayer.
10 Sedlec Ossuary
An ossuary is a place used for the storage of bones. It can be as small as a wooden box or as large as a city. In the catacombs beneath Paris, there are the bones of an estimated six million people who died in the city over the centuries.
Addis Ababa September 29/2017 Semien Mountains National Park will celebrate its removal from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger and its Golden jubilee with various activities, Office of the Park announced. Semien Mountains National Park Tourism and Community Manager, Tadesse Yigzaw told ENA that the event will be celebrated with panel discussion, exhibition, and visit to the park’s main sites for three days beginning from 17 October 2017. He said research papers will be presented on sustainability of the park and on its benefits to the local communities. More than 500 participants, including officials from UNESCO, federal and regional governments, and other pertinent bodies will participate in the event. At the end of the event, the park will award certificates to local and international bodies for their contributions to the removal of the park from the UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.