Visit Historic Routes of Ethiopia
To be visited around Lalibela: Bilbila Chirkos, Kiddist Arbuta Washa, Bilibila Giyorgis,Arbuta Insesa, Gedamit Maryam, Yemerahanna Kristos, Nakuta La’ab Monastery,Ashetin Maryam, Mount Abu Yoseph, Genata Maryam Church, trekking and mule ride on spectacular mount miew..
Lalibela – Visit the Rock Hewn Churches
Lalibela is a small town, which is secluded by mountains in the northern tip of Wello. It was a seat of the Zagwe Dynasty who ruled the country for about two centuries following the decline and fall of Axum. The term “Zagwe” means of the dynasty of the Agew people. The homeland of these rulers was one of the most important strongholds of the Agew people. Formerly known as Roha, the town of Lalibela bears the name of its most famous king “Lalibela” (1118 – 1221 A.D) Lalibela is renowned for its rock-hewn churches, which are sometimes called “The eighth wonder of the world.”
There are 11 rock-hewn churches in Lalibela. All of them believed to have been built by king Lalibela himself. Some of these churches are monolithic, architecturally unique buildings, finely curved and some of them decorated with beautiful paintings. These churches have been kept alive by hundreds of priests who guarded its precious religious and artistic treasures.
The churches stand in two groups on either side of a river, which is known as river Jordan. Some of the churches are Bete Medhane Alem, home to Lalibela Cross and believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world), Bete Mariam (house of the Virgin Mary), Bete Golgotha, Abba Libanos and Bete Michael. According to legend, anyone, who enters Bete Golgotha, will go to heaven as it contains Lalibela’s tomb and personal treasures. It also contains a recumbent figure of Christ. Bete Georgis is the most photographed church in the area. The church is curved in the form of a Greek cross.