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Location - North East Africa; Capital - Addis Ababa; Population - 78 million; Currency - Ethiopia Birr MORE ETHIOPIA

I spent 4 weeks in Ethiopia and Djibouti in the Winter of 2006, flying to Addis Ababa.


ethnote10 Ethiopian Birr










eth1Walking towards the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. The body of Haile Selassie was reburied here in 2000 in a procession that included Bob Marley's widow.

Click here for more about Tafari Makonnen, who became the Emperor Haile Selassie.





eth2The Holy Trinity, or Kiddist Selassie Cathedral - Addis Ababa



eth4The grounds of Addis Ababa University
















eth9A chance to see how green and mountainous parts of northern Ethiopia really are, from the flight to Axum


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eth12Shops along the main street in Axum (also known as Aksum), northern Ethiopia















eth13Waiting for the boss to eat lunch - Axum















eth14Axum is known for its ancient granite stelae, built in honour of the various kings of the Axumite Empire around 300-500 AD



eth17Currently the tallest erect stele at 23 metres, it is accredited to King Ezana - Axum



eth18Sitting at the base of the stele, built from a single block of granite - Axum


Read more on the Axumite Empire here

For more about the Axum stelae, click here















eth19This collapsed stele is the largest in Axum, which would measure over 33 metres if standing.

The St Mary of Zion church is in the background, left














eth29Paintings of a black and white Virgin Mary in the Fasilidas church, St Mary of Zion compound, Axum


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eth26The building where the elusive Ark of the Covenant is said to be housed is in the same complex as the St Mary of Zion church - you won't get much closer than this! Axum



eth27The Ark of the Covenant contains the Ten Commandments - Axum

A history of the church of St Mary of Zion here

Read more about the Ark of the Covenant here





An investigation into the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant



eth21A lovely family make Ethiopian coffee the traditional way in their home in Axum



eth22More of the family - brother and sister in Axum



eth23On the outskirts of Axum is a site known as the Queen of Sheba's Palace, though it's highly unlikely to have anything to do with her

Michael Wood of the BBC provides an explanation of the Queen of Sheba here

Wikipedia's webpage on the Queen of Sheba here













eth24Opposite the Palace is the Queen of Sheba's collapsed stele, said to mark the grave of the Makeda, the Queen of Sheba - Axum.
Again this is thought to be historically incorrect (to say the least..)














eth25Protection for sapling trees on the streets of Axum



eth20Walking past the Axum stelae



eth31King Ezana's Park, Axum
















eth32Locals filling up with water at the Queen of Sheba's Pool in Axum.
Also known as Mai Shum, the attachment to the Queen is again tenuous, and more likely dates to the 15th century

















Beautiful scenery on the trail to Debre Liqanos Monastery, Axum



eth39The view from Debre Liqanos monastery, Axum



eth42The bus trip to Lalibela.
Lalibela is the site of the magnificent rock-hewn churches dating to the 10th-13th century Zagwe dynasty.
King Lalibela was a Zagwe ruler from the 12th century














eth42aBet Medhane Alem is the world's largest monolithic rock-hewn church at Lalibela


More about the Lalibela churches here













eth44The walls of Bet Medhane Alem, Lalibela



eth47A tunnel leads to three more Lalibela churches



eth51A courtyard in Lalibela's north west cluster
















eth49Doors, alleyways, tunnels and steps make up the labyrinth that is Lalibela


















eth50A priest with cross at Bet Danaghel church, Lalibela



eth53aLalibela's churches have been carved out of the surrounding rock



eth54Priests gather around Lalibela's north west cluster















eth61Preparing to enter Bet Debre Sina, Lalibela
















eth64A local weaver in Lalibela



eth66The cross shaped roof of Bet Giyorgis - Lalibela
















eth68aBet Giyorgis is almost 15 metres in height, and lies apart from the rest of the Lalibela churches
















eth75At the base of Bet Giyorgis church, Lalibela



eth77Leave your shoes at the entrance - Bet Giyorgis, Lalibela



eth76Bet Giyorgis (St George), Lalibela



















eth72Perching a little too close to the edge at Bet Giyorgis, Lalibela
















eth78Drinking tej, a potent alcoholic brew made from honey, in an incense filled Lalibela tej house



eth79Anyone for coffee? Lalibela



eth107The main street in Lalibela
















eth108Priests gather for a ceremony in Lalibela
















eth82The village area on the Lalibela slopes. Lalibela lies at over 2600 metres altitude



eth81bTraditional mud-brick houses in Lalibela village



eth83A distant view of Bet Gebriel-Rafael, part of the south east cluster of Lalibela's churches















eth86Bet Gebriel-Rafael church, Lalibela















eth90Take a torch for this pitch black tunnel to the next few churches (there's other ways of getting to them if you don't fancy this route) - Lalibela



eth91And you'll pop up here - Lalibela



eth95Inside Bet Lehem, Lalibela
















eth97Bet Emanuel church, Lalibela



eth99A superb view looking down on Bet Emanuel, Lalibela



eth100A natural trench forms a path within Lalibela's south east cluster
















eth89a Lalibela


















eth101Bet Abba Libanos, Lalibela



eth103A priest inside Bet Abba Libanos displays 2 crosses, Lalibela



eth106Workers outside Bet Abba Libanos weed Lalibela's vegetation
















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