For most visitors to Ethiopia, the highlight of the northern circuit is the medieval capital of Lalibela, where high in the chilly mountains of Wollo stands a complex of a dozen rock-hewn churches often and justifiably ranked as the eighth wonder of the ancient world. The churches stand today as an inspirational and active shrine to a Christian civilization that predates its northern European equivalent by centuries
The Rock-Hewn Churches located in Lalibela, Ethiopia are an outstanding work of architecture for early times. The series of churches was built under the order of King Lalibela, who planned to transform the city of Lalibela into a New Jerusalem, as Muslims mainly occupied the old Jerusalem in Israel.
A series of monolithic churches were built around 12th and 13th century and until now, the Rock-Hewn Churches still stand firm to continually amaze tourists around the world. It was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1978.
In total, there are thirteen churches in the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela and these are grouped in four:
1. Northern Group
- Bete Medhane Alem, where in the Lalibela Cross can be found.
- Bete Maryam, the church believed to be the oldest among the Rock-Hewn Churches.
- Bête Golgotha
- Selassie Chapel
- Tomb of Adan
2. Southern Group
- Monastery of Ashetan Maryam
- Yimrehane Kristos
3. Western Group
- Bete Giyorgis, acclaimed to be the best well-preserved church among the series of churches.
4. Eastern Group
- Bete Amanuel, believed to be the royal chapel.
- Bete Merkorios,
- Bete Gabriel Rufael
- Bete Abba Libanos
The city of Lalibela is a frequently visited tourist attraction. An airport, a hospital and several markets can be found within the place. While visiting the Rock-Hewn Churches, it is advisable to wear the most comfortable shoes as venturing throughout the churches can be quite tiring.
There are many local tour guides and helpers around the place and it is recommendable to appoint one. The local tour guide will help you navigate around the churches; moreover, the helper will take care of your shoes as you enter the church because shoes must be taken off before going in.
Inside the churches, different religious items can be found, including the wall paintings, swastikas and crosses. You will absolutely be amazed at how the rocks were cut and curved; so pay a visit at the Rock-Hewn Churches and be dazzled with its amazing beauty!
Tours to lalibela
Tour of Lalibela - Tour Code-BSET 103 - Duration : 4 days and 3 nights
The Standard Historic Route by Flight - Tour Code: BSET 108 Duration: 4 NIGHTS AND 5 DAYS.
Tigray Rock Hewn Churches and Lalibela-Tour Code: BSET 202 Duration: 14 NIGHTS AND 15 DAYS
For more detail of these tours and many others please visit the link - Tour programs.
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