Our trip through this amazing country keeps going on and we visit two UNESCO heritages, rich of culture and history: Axum and Gondar (Do you want to discover another beautiful Ethiopian Unesco Heritage?Click here).

AXUM

The first city, Axum, also known as Aksum, is located in the northern region of Tigray, at the foot of Adua mountains, about 2100 meters above the sea level. It is a renowned place for its magnificent monuments recalling the greatness of the Axum Kingdom that, for almost ten centuries, dominated a very big area and trades between Africa and Asia. Walking on the streets of the ancient capital, you can feel the charm and mystery that surround this place: according to the legend, it was founded by Menelik I, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, who gave birth to lineage of Ethiopian kings.

Axum monoliths, Ethiopia
Axum monoliths, Ethiopia

Here, during the years, an important civilization developed and thanks to a rich archaeological heritage, we can admire finds dating from the birth of Jesus until the XIII Century, including the park of Stems, different heights of monoliths used as tombstones, the inscriptions in sabean located inside the archaeological museum, the Palace and the Baths of the Queen of Sheba (which nowadays it is still used as water tank for the city), the necropolis of ancient kings and the Church of Saint Mary Zion, the most impressive, where according to the tradition is kept the Ark of the Covenant, brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I after visiting Jerusalem. Even today, the mystery surrounds this place with its secrets and Axum is definitely a must see in Ethiopia!

GONDAR

After Axum we reach the second city, known also as “African Camelot” and famous for its many medieval castles and the decoration of its churches: Gondar. The city is located at 2100 meters above sea level and is another evidence of ancient Ethiopian splendor, rich in monuments, built between the XVII and XVIII centuries: according to the tradition, Fasiladas, the greatest king in this period, arrived here riding a Buffalo after a prediction by an hermit.

Castle in Gondar, Ethiopia
Castle in Gondar, Ethiopia

He built the capital with its special and unique architectural style and it was converted into an important center for trade routes: it was a very important center of commerce, also for its strategic position. We walk among the monuments and all are so well conserved: Royal Citadel, the Fasilides and Mentewab castles, the Palace of Iyasu, the hall of Dawit and the three churches. Here, you really can understand why it is called African Camelot! Just outside of the city center you can find other spots as the Baths of Fasilidas, Kuskuam complex sited on the top of a hill and built by Empress Mentewab; the Palace of Ras Mikael Sehulm dating the eighteenth century and the beautiful church of Debre Birhan Sellasie with its precious paintings of biblical events and medieval and its spectacular ceilings decorated with angels.

Read more about our trip through Ethiopia visiting Danakil depression, the Land of the Davil!

 

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