Hidden treasures of Tigray

03.05.2009 // Tigray is recognized as the craddle of the ancient Ethiopian civilization.The Yeha temple and the Axumite monolithic steleas testify to this. Numerous archeological sites underlines the long history of the region, where the first Christian state in the world was established in the fourth century. Thus the old churches of Tigray are the testimony to this history.

The rock-hewn churches is a landmark achievement of church building in Ethiopia. Lalibela being the most famous, but so many others to be found in Tigray. Abreha Atsbeha is one of the outstanding rock hewn churches, found beautifully situated between Wukro and Hawzien. The spacious high barrel-shaped ceiling contains various artful ancient works of art.
Tekle Haimanot church in Hawzien is a comination of rock hewn and stone church. The chamber holds six free standing and six more pillars in relief, wonderfully executed in a style found in no other church. Tekle Haimanot, a hero of the Orthodox church, is buried here.
18 kilometers from Hawzien you find Degum Sellassie, a rock carved church with an underground chapel, also worthwhile visiting. And these are only three easy accessible churches in Tigray, in what is called Tigray Open Museum. Some of the more spectacular needs you to climb to mountain tops by rope or walking for kilometers to a mountain top, which the local population does regularly. Certainly a living museum.

Kilde: Jens-Petter Kjemprud   |   Bookmark and Share