Ethiopia Historic Sites and Landmarks

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Rock-Cut ChurchesRock-Cut Churches
Lalibela, Ethiopia

Lalibela is a sacred city for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, and is home to 11 remarkable rock-carved churches dating from the 12th century.

Old St. Mary of Zion Church
Axum, Ethiopia

This church is the holiest shrine in Ethiopian Christianity. First built in the 300s AD, the present church dates from a rebuild in 1635. Neither visitors nor women are allowed inside.

Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant
Axum, Ethiopia

The biblical Ark of the Covenant mysteriously disappeared from Jerusalem sometime before Christ. But Ethiopians and some western theorists know exactly where it is: enshrined in this chapel in Axum.

Aksum Stelae Field
Axum, Ethiopia

Dating from around 300-500 AD, the famous Axum stelae probably predate the arrival of Christianity. Their purpose is almost certainly religious, but the details are not known for certain.

Debre Birhan Selassie Church
Gondar, Ethiopia

Located in the historical city of Gondar, this Ethiopian Orthodox church is famed for its colorful murals in the unique Ethiopian style.

New Church of St. Mary of Zion
Axum, Ethiopia

Emperor Haile Selassie founded this new Church of St. Mary of Zion next to the old one. It was completed in 1964. Unlike the original, the new St. Mary of Zion allows entrance to women.

Bahar Dar

Bahar Dar is the site of several lakeside, straw-hut Ethiopian Orthodox monasteries decorated with colorful Christian art and topped with ostrich eggs.

Palace of the Queen of Sheba
Axum, Ethiopia

These 3,000-year old ruins are believed to have been the palace of the Queen of Sheba, whom Ethiopians say bore a son with King Solomon.