Historical Attractions of Ethiopia


Popular Sites of The Historical Attractions In Ethiopia:
Bahirdar, Gonder, Axum, Lalibela and Harar are the major places in the historical attractions circuit. The route in this circuit is very scenic and we strongly recommend driving some part. Particularly Bahirdar to Gondar and Gonder to Axum

Means of Transportation To Historical Route: by air, by car or both ways combined

The Road Condition In The Historical Route: Largely mountainous but most part of this route is connected with recently made asphalt road and the remaining gravel roads are also all weather roads. If you choose a surface tour you can use minivan, bus or land cruiser (4x4).When you take a tour which is by air: transfers and sightseeing at every destinations is with minivan or with bus based on the size of the group you are in, unless prior request is made for the arrangement of Jeep.

Accommodations In The Historical Route: Out of Addis Ababa to historical route accommodations range is from basic to 3 star hotels.

Bahar Dar
Bahar Dar is 578 kilometres and is located on the southern shores of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, with its ancient island monasteries and both the Blue and the White Nile’s most spectacular feature, the Tis last falls. on the island of Dega Estefanos you will find the church of Saint Stefanos, which has a priceless collection of icons and manuscripts and houses the mummified remains of a number of Ethiopian emperors. For the modern traveler, the starting point of any visit to the Blue Nile Falls, or to the islands of Lake Tana, is the busting market town of Bahar Dar on the lake’s south-eastern shore.
The colorful markets and a variety of handicrafts and weaving centers also make it a comfortable base for excursion by land or water. Bahar Dar port provides access by boat to a number of historic lakeside churches and monasteries near and far. Most date form the 14th- century and have beautifully painted walls. Some monastic islands are forbidden to women, but others can be visited by all.

Gondar is founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1636. The city was Ethiopia’s capital until the reign of the would-be reforming Emperor Tewodros II, also know as Thedore. Gonder is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. The earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is possible to climb its stairs all the way to the roof, which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city.

Besides the famous palaces, visitors should inspect the Bathing Place of Emperor Fasilidas, which is used for the annual Timket or epiphany celebrations, and the abbey of the redoubtable 18th- century Empress Mentewab at Qwesquam, in the mountains just outside Gonder.

Much more is known about the historic highland city of Axum, once a great commercial centere, trading via the Red Sea port of Adulis and founded perhaps 500 years after the decline of Yeha. Axum stands in the highlands of north western Tigray, commanding spectacular views over the nearby Adwa hills. This ancient settlement is frequently referred to as ‘’the sacred city of Ethiopians’’- a description that adequately sums up its significance in national culture as a center of Orthodox Christianity.

Many remarkable monuments here attest to the great antiquity of religious expression in this country, and as a former capital that has never lost its special appeal to the hearts and minds of all Ethiopians.

Axum is renowned for its Cathedral of St.Mary of Zion where, legend has it; the original Ark of the Covenant is housed. Axum is also famous for its seven mysterious monolithic stelae, hewn from single pieces of solid granite. The most notable are carved to multi-storey houses; several weigh more than 500 tones and stand 20 meters high. Axum’s greatest significance, however, is as the epicenter of the Queen of Sheba’s dynasty, upon which rests the notion of the sacred kinship of the Semitic peoples Ethiopia- a notion that links the recent past to ancient times.

Lalibela is an ancient settlement, which is also famous for its rock hewed churches. Lalibela is a city carved from legend-a medieval settlement in the Lasta area of Wollo that is the site of II remarkable rock-hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by King Lalibela in the late12th century. These notable structures are carved inside and outside the solid rock, and are considered among the wonders of the world. Each building is architecturally unique, and several of them are decorated with fascinating rock paintings.

The unadulterated biblical atmosphere and vivid local colour of the Timket celebration provide an ideal opportunity to see Lalibela as a sacred centre whose roots go to man’s very early years.


Harar is medieval walled city which is considered as eastern historic route and stands amid green mountains on the east wall of the Great Rift Valley. Harar’s heritage is almost entirely Muslim and Oriental. Harar has probably always had a great deal more in common with the Horn’s coastal culture than with the life of the highlands –and it retains to this day a certain redolence of the Orient. The most dominant features, apart from its strong encircling walls, are its rich and exciting market place probably the most colorful in Ethiopia.

With its 90 mosques and shrines, Harar is considered to be the fourth- most sacred centre of the Islamic world; Its Islamic character is best expressed in the Grand Mosque (Al Jami), which dominates the town. Harar’s Megalo Gudo market is a centre for beautiful baskets of woven grass, decorative wall-mats and bright shawls, as well as all the fruits, vegetables, spices and grains of the province. Harar’s five gates-the only means to enter or leave the city centre-have been strongly guarded over the years. The fully restored Rimbaud house is well worth a visit.

Addis Ababa
With a population of more than three million people, Addis Ababa is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve centre of Ethiopia Founded by Emperor Menlik in 1887 this big, sprawling, hospitable city still bears the stamp of his exuberant personality. More than 21,000 hectares in area, Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000 meters Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut through with fast flowing streams.

Addis Ababa is also considered as unofficial capital of Africa as many embassies and international organization head quarter is located in Addis. Ancient buildings, unique churches, many museums, the famous open air market of Mercato are few attractions in Addis.