Axum

Axum is Ethiopia oldest urban settlement. The Axumite kingdom was one of the greatest African civilizations after Egypt and Meroe; it was flourished in the first millennia BC. Axum was the capital and major religion center; it remains the site of many remarkable antiquities,

Gondar

It is situated in the Southern foothill of the Semien Mountains with an average altitude of 2,200 m. above sea level. "The City of the Castles" is one of Ethiopia's most fascinating cities, founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1636, following the establishment of the city several castles were built in the royal enclosure; each is unique in size and architecture.

Harar

The ancient city of Harar is situated in the East, 523 km from Addis Ababa. It has 99 mosques and shrines due to this it is considered the forth most sacred center of the Islamic world after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. The old City Wall of Harar is the main attraction and symbol of Islamic architecture.

Lalibela

Lalibela is located in the northern parts of Ethiopia with an elevation of 2,600m above sea level, the city and its churches are considered as one of the wonders of the world and have been declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Is one of the most important holy cities in Ethiopia by its famous rock-hewn churches.

Semien Mountain

The national Park has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site 1978. It is found in the northern parts of the country about 120 km from Gondar. Semien means ‘North’ in Amharic. Six hundred million years ago, the mountains were an enormous volcanic massif, then rain and ice have carved deep fissures into it and rivers have continued the work of erosion, creating an incredible landscape: high peaks and deep gorges.

Konso

Konso cultural landscape is a 55Km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified Settlement in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of living Cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adopted to its dry hostile environment.

Lower Omo Valley

The Omo River (also called Omo-Bottego) is an important river of southern Ethiopia. Its course is entirely contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia, and it empties into Lake Turkana on the border with Kenya.

Lower Awash valley

The lower valley of Awash is located at the extreme north-eastern end of Africa Great rift valley, Where excavations since 1973 have revealed a wealth of hominid. UNESCO named the awash valley as a world heritage site because of its sustainable paleo-Anthropological and Archeological resource.

Tiya

Tiya is one of the nine UNESCO world heritage sites in Ethiopia. Is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the soddo region; Tiya Stelae field consists about 36 Stelae which stand between one and two meters high.

Axum

Axum is Ethiopia oldest urban settlement. The Axumite kingdom was one of the greatest African civilizations after Egypt and Meroe; it was flourished in the first millennia BC. Axum was the capital and major religion center; it remains the site of many remarkable antiquities, including the famous monolithic obelisks, or stelae, ancient stone inscriptions, the ruins of very old palace of Queen of Sheba and graves of Axumite kings and ancient gold-silver-and bronze coins. Axum, in its heyday, was a great commercial centre, issuing its own currency, and trading with Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India, and even Ceylon.

The three giant monolithic stelae are carved to represent multistoried buildings with a pseudo-door, different type of windows and the so-called ‘monkey-heads’ in Axumite architectural style. The largest obelisk, which was 32.6 meters long and weighed 517 tons, is the biggest piece of stone ever hewn out by man from the quarries of the ancient world.

 

 Axum Tsion

Church of St Mary of Zion

Axum is also famous for its St. Mary of Zion Church, is the oldest of all churches in Ethiopia, rich for its historic and ecclesiastical relics as well as the original Ark of the Covenant is housed in. The Ethiopian epic, the Kibre Negest (Glory of the Kings) tells us that Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the original Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Axum and thereby established one of the world’s longest known and uninterrupted monarchical dynasties. Impressive ruins, monuments and archaeological artifacts abound in and around Axum attesting to the solid, articulate, confident, literate and resourceful strength of this civilization.

 

The Ark of the Covenant is believed still to be kept in the Church of St. Mary of Zion erected on the original location of the oldest church of Ethiopia. The Axumite Kingdom's conversion to Christianity in the 4th century makes Ethiopia, after Armenia and Georgia, the third oldest Christian country.

 

 

 

Did you know?

  •        Axum is believed by Ethiopian’s to be the depository of the biblical Ark of covenant.

 

  •       The Axum Empire was the dominant trade empire in the Horn of Africa for over a millennium prior to the rise of Islam. At its peak, this regional powerhouse stretched from the Sudanese Nile across the Red sea to Yemen.

 

  •       The origin of Ethiopian Christianity was in Axum. The surrounding hills are still studded with monasteries founded by the so-called Nine Saints who spread the gospel throughout the Axumite Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries.

 

 

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