Ethiopia’s earliest known capital, Yeha, is less than two hours’ drive from Axum through some dramatic highland scenery. As the birthplace of the country’s earliest high civilization, it is well worth visiting. The ruins of this large, pre-Christian temple, erected around the fifth century BC, consist of a single roofless oblong chamber 20 meters (66 feet) along by 15 meters (50 feet) wide. The windowless 10 meters high walls are built of smoothly polished stones, some of them more than 3 meters long, carefully placed one atop the other without the use of mortar.
is a small village located 60 Kms East of Mekele, the Capital of Tigray region. It is the place was the first mosque was constructed in Ethiopia. It also serves as enduring reminder of the warm welcome extended by the Ethiopian king of the time when those Muslims including the family of the prophet Mohammed fled from persecution in their own land found refuge in Ethiopia during the early years of the Seventh century. Since then, Negash has been a place of great historical and religious significance in a sense that it is a symbol of peaceful coexistence between Muslim and Christian religions
AXUM (THE MYSTERIOUS MONOLITHS)
The Axumite Empire (sometimes called the Kingdom of Axum), was an important trading nation in northeastern Africa, growing from the proto-Axumite period ca. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD.
ROCK HEWN CHURCHES OF TIGRAY AND THE GHERALTA
The Tigray region has plenty more, older ones, with more paintings, special architecture; remote locations Over 125 rock hewn churches are recorded with Tigray-alone. These churches date from 4th-15th century. Most of them are visited around the Gheralta chained mountains. Others are found in eastern and southern Tigray.
LALIBELA ("EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD")
Located in the north-east of Ethiopia, Lalibela is another renowned historical destination. Placed third in historic sequence, its site hosts the “eighth wonder of the world”, the Lalibela rock-hewn churches. UNESCO has recorded this site as one of the world wonders. It is also holy land for Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christians.
Despite Yemrehanna Kristos being one of Ethiopia’s best-preserved late-Aksumite buildings, few people reward themselves with a visit. And a reward it is. The church is different because it’s built rather than excavated. Seeing the stepped exterior facade, created from alternating wood and stone layers, you’ll understand why so many of Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches look like they do. And knowing that Yemrehanna Kristos may predate Lalibela’s churches by up to 80 years, you have before you a virtual blueprint of greatness.
GONDER (THE CAMELOT OF AFRICA)
Gondar was the 17th century capital of Ethiopia, and is notable for its Medieval Castles and churches. The city’s unique Imperial compound contains a number of Castles built between 1635 and 1855 by various Emperors who reigned during this period. These dramatic Castles, unlike any other in Africa, display richness in architecture that reveals the Axumite traditions as well as the influence of Arabia.
Other treasures of Gondar include the 18th century palace of Ras Bet, the bath of Fasiledes, the ruined palace of Kusquam, and the church of Debre Berhan Selassie with its unique murals.
BAHIR DAR, LAKE TANA AND BLU NILE FALLS
Bahir Dar has always been a center of trade. Still the Tankwa’s (small papyrus boats) are used for trade and transport. Situated on the shores of Lake Tana, with palm-lined avenues, colorful markets and handicraft and weaving centers, it is a pleasant place to stay.
BLUE NILE FALLS (THE SMOKE OF FIRE)
Known locally as Tis Isat – ‘Smoke of Fire’ the Blue Nile Falls is the most dramatic spectacle on either the White or the Blue Nile rivers. Four hundred meters (1,312 feet) wide when in flood, and dropping over a sheer chasm more than forty-five meters (150 Feet) deep the falls throw up a continuous spray of water, which drenches onlookers up to a kilometer away. This misty deluge produces rainbows, shimmering across the gorge, and a small perennial rainforest of lush green vegetation, to the delight of the many monkeys and multicolored birds that inhabit the area. After leaving the village, the footpath Meanders first beside open and fertile fields, then drops into a deep rift that is spanned by an ancient, fortified stone bridge built in the seventeenth century by Portuguese adventurers and still in use. After a thirty-minute walk, a stiff climb up a grassy hillside is rewarded by a magnificent view of the falls, breaking the smooth edge of the rolling river into a thundering cataract of foaming water.
Susenyos I throne name Malak Sagad III, Ge’ez:መልአክ ሰገድ, mal’ak sagad, Amharic: mel’āk seged, “to whom the angel bows”; 1572 – 17 September1632) was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1606 to 1632. He was the son of Abeto (Prince) Fasil, son of Abeto (Prince) Yakob, who was a son of Dawit II. As a result, while some authorities list Susenyos as a member of the Solomonic dynasty, others consider him, instead of his son, Fasilides, as the founder of the Gondar line of the dynasty (ultimately a subset, however, of the Solomonic dynasty).
Although Lalibela is unique, it is not the sole site of Ethiopia’s famous rock-hewn churches. In Tigray near Makale, over 200 fine examples of these monuments to man’s devotion to God as well as his building skills, can be seen and visited. The capital of Emperor Yohanes IV (1871-1889), Makale is now the main city of Tigray, the most northern Ethiopian region.