The Cities of Ethiopia

Lying in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the country located at the highest altitude on the African continent. Vast areas of the country, especially the high regions and the savanna regions are extremely green and fertile. The fascination of the Ethiopian land mostly comes from overwhelming contrast between the high wet lands and the low ones in the East which are dry and hot. Until 1993 this country, had also access to the Red Sea, but  had to pass over this territory to the newly formed independent state Eritreea.

Ethiopia is not an easily country to travel through, as this area of the economy has not managed to fully develop since the end of the war. However, there are at least 3 amazing cities that are very much worth visiting.

AKSUM – The City of Funeral Stars

Aksum is the oldest city in Ethiopia, located about 1000 km North from Addis Abeba. The legend has it that the palace of this city was once lodged by queen Saba. The emperor’s ex residence is famous for the impressive 100 funeral stars collection, one of the largest stone monoliths in the world, carved around year 200. The shape of these stars differs according to the social status of the deceased. Some of them have the shape of the old Arab tower houses. The tradition of stars decorated graves is also common in other Ethiopian provinces. For example the star field in Tiya, south of Addis Abeba displays 5 meter tall funeral stones, resembling the totemic poles, carved with images of all kinds of tools, animals and weapons.

LALIBELA – The African Jerusalim

This city is famous for the beautiful stone churches carved in the XVI th century on the Ethiopian Plateau. Some of them are carved in a unique block of stone, extracted from the surrounding rocks . 150 such churches have been discovered so far. The Church of the Saviour , the largest in Lalibela is a stone church attached to the surrounding rock. Most churches in this city have funeral chambers linked to each other by a labyrinth corridor.

GONDOR – The City of Palaces and Churches

Gondor is the zenith of the Ethiopian culture and art .The massive buildings of this African city are worth visiting, especially the emperor Fasiliadas’s  Gemp Palace. A visit to the beautiful lake Tana is not something you want to miss. Locals often use the same old cane boats that we are used to see in the antique Egyptian pictures .This lake is crossed by the famous Blue Nile so countless, amazing, more than 40 m high waterfalls can be seen here.

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