Ethiopia Photos - Historic North


Jan 12, 2010 - Jan 28, 2010

Addis Ababa       Axum       Lalibela       Bahar Dar       Gondar       


 Click Here to See Ethiopia Photos South - Omo Valley

 Arba Minch       Turmi       Jinka 

National Theatre in Addis Ababa - Capital City


You see this a lot on the streets


Tons of mattresses all over

Cars get overstacked


Multiplex in Addis


Mulugeta, my driver holding up a traditional dress. 

I should have bought it while I was there but Mulei sent it to me. 


This is a prayer mat that I bought in the Muslim district in Addis


I bought this Afar Girl carved in wood with a rod iron from the arts district 




Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400 BC into the 10th century. One of Unesco's World Heritage Sites. 

The kingdom of Aksum had its own written language called Ge'ez, and also developed a distinctive architecture exemplified by giant obelisks, 

the oldest of which (though much smaller) date from 5000-2000 BC. 

This kingdom was at its height under king Ezana, baptized as Abreha, in the 4th century AD when they embraced Christianity.


Queen of Sheba’s Bath, which forms the focal point of the 

annual ceremony of Timkat (Epiphany) in January where 

a replica of the Ark is carried out in procession.

King Ezana Epitaph – This memorial inscription belonged to Axsumite King Ezana (330 – 350 AD). It is inscribed in Greek, Sabean, and Geez scripts. It announces King Ezana’s Victories over his enemies.

Tombs of Kaleb and Gabra Masqal – The twin tombs are 

located on the hilltop Abba Linknos. Two kings from 6th century AD 

located 2 km N.E. of Aksum. Twin chapels were placed on 

top of the crypts with 3 and 5 vaults in each tomb.

Coptic Cross Etched in the stone




Trying it out



Shows how stones were built into buildings. No cement was used. They balanced stones on geometrically sound smaller stones.






Remains of Queen Sheeba's Palace

Across from Queen Sheba’s Palace are a number of rock hewn

granite stelae, some more than 13 ft high, some fallen and broken. 

Most are undecorated but one, the largest, is carved with four 


horizontal bands, each topped by a row of circles in relief. 

This crude obelisk, much older than those in the Park of the Stelae, is

thought by the townspeople to mark the grave of the Queen of Sheba. 

No excavation work has been carried out beneath it.


Village Home


Inside a home


The kids are friendly and curious


Love the little cars


Local Tej house. Saba Tej is a honey wine, 13.5% alcohol 

indigenous to Ethiopia. The women are typically not asked to sit. 

They usually serve or are cooking. It was an honor to be included.



I loved this little girl. I asked the mama to come sit and join us for a picture. She was making traditional the traditional Tej.




In ancient times there were seven of these monoliths of granite standing together, but the biggest, which was the largest monolith in the world over thirty-three meters (108 feet) weighing about 500 tones — fell at some remote period in the past, and now lies in broken segments on the ground to the right of the standing stelae.

Excavated tomb of Ramha, former king of Axum

The second largest stelae, about twenty-four meters (79 feet) high, also fell and was stolen during the Italian Fascist occupation under Mussolini. The third largest stelae, which is slightly smaller, measuring twenty three meters (75 feet) still stands in Axum . 

160 ton Great Monolith. This was taken and and housed in Italy for many years and returned to its rightful home in April 2005.



This is a theory of how the stellae came to be placed above the tombs.

Women bring their brightly-colored handwoven injera baskets to the market at the center of town for the festival of Maryam Tsion (St. Mary of Zion)







There are two churches opposite the Stelae park. The older, a rectangular battlemented building, was put up in the early 17th century by Emperor Fasilidas. It is guardian to many crowns of former Ethiopian rulers and other valuables, which have been put in a small museum-building in the compound. The more modern was built by Emperor Haile Selassie, who opened it for Queen Elizabeth II in 1965. They are closed to women but can inspect some treasures, which are carried to the edge of the restricted areas.

From the museum it is a walk of less than half a minute to the ruins of the original Church of Saint Mary of Zion which was erected after the advent of Christianity as the religion in the early fourth century.





Tsion Mariam Church is where the Original Ark of the Holy Covenant is said to be housed. A family donates their child for the high honor of acting as the Priest that dedicates himself to living inside the gate his whole life. I was so fortunate as the priest called me over and asked for my hands and forehead. He kissed my forehead and blessed me. 

It was such a high honor.


Ancient Books


Ancient Books 


Bible depictions kept behind curtains in the front of churches


A great shop selling the Ethiopian Crosses


40 minute flight from Axum to Lalibela


The mountains were just beautiful!

Kids walk on the roads like Coldwater Canyon to go to school






Sign on top of the shop


Lalibela is the Site of 11 Rock-Hewn, (cut from stone), churches built in the late 12th century by King Lalibela on his return from exile in Jerusalem. It's said he was accompanied and advised by Templar Knights.


Each church as a priest inside. They are very intricately carved and painted. 




Here is the priest with a traditional Ethiopian cross.




Priests sleep in these tiny quarters.




Equilateral Cross with arms bent to right, suns direction to symbolize Good Luck. It was the Nazi’s that exploited this fine symbol of peace and turned it backwards. Dates to neolithic period and is still widely seen among Buddhist, Jain and Hinduism and other Eastern religions.


Some original carvings inside of the churches





This is the most famous of the Lalibela churches. 


St George is the last of the churches with cross shape top to bottom


Mule to Asheton Mariam, a high altitude 13th century rock hewn church





The path to the top was narrow and a steep drop. It honestly was very scary and I can't say I'd do it again by mule. One slip and you would fall to your death. I had to get off of the mule at times as I was too scared to stay on it. 

But, the hike was so worth it and the views spectacular!


As I struggled to get to the top, there were people that live up there 

and must go up and down so easily on a weekly basis.


This was at the very top. I literally felt like I was on top of the world.



View of the Village

Great Shop Signs

These are the drums that are found in every Lalibela Church

A Church Cavern

A Church

A Graveyard with a View


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