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Chris Willis | profile | all galleries >> Ethiopia's Northern Historical Circuit, Dec. 2006 >> Lalibela tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Bahir Dar | Gondar | Axum | Lalibela | Addis Ababa

Lalibela

Our final stop on the Ethiopian Northern Historical Loop was Lalibela, home of Ethiopia's famous rock-hewn churches, built in the 12th Century. Local legend has it that the churches were built with the assistance of angels. However they were built, they are certainly spectacular.
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The scenery around Lalibela is dramatic.

The scenery around Lalibela is dramatic.

This is the tallest mountain in the area, and home to Asheton Maryam Monestary.

This is the tallest mountain in the area, and home to Asheton Maryam Monestary.

IMG_3189.JPG IMG_3216 copy.JPG
IMG_3223.JPG The roads near Lalibela carry more pedstrians and animals than automobiles.

The roads near Lalibela carry more pedstrians and animals than automobiles.

Bet Medhane Alem Church, the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world.

Bet Medhane Alem Church, the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world.

Bet Medhane Alem

Bet Medhane Alem

A priest reads in a nook carved into the stone wall surrounding the churches.

A priest reads in a nook carved into the stone wall surrounding the churches.

Bet Medhane Alem.  Note upper windows with design reminiscent of the top of the pre-Christian Ezana Stela in Axum.

Bet Medhane Alem. Note upper windows with design reminiscent of the top of the pre-Christian Ezana Stela in Axum.

IMG_3382.JPG Interior of Bet Medhane Alem

Interior of Bet Medhane Alem

IMG_3437.JPG Entrance to Bet Maryam Church

Entrance to Bet Maryam Church

Wall surrounding some of the northwestern cluster of churches in Lalibela

Wall surrounding some of the northwestern cluster of churches in Lalibela

Intricate paintings on the ceiling of Bet Maryam Church

Intricate paintings on the ceiling of Bet Maryam Church

IMG_3542.JPG A priest shows off a traditional cross.  The sunglasses, we later learned, are worn because of camera flashes.

A priest shows off a traditional cross. The sunglasses, we later learned, are worn because of camera flashes.

Intricate window designs

Intricate window designs

All of the churches contain paintings within.

All of the churches contain paintings within.

Carving of an Ethiopian saint inside Bet Golgotha.  This is the only church in Lalibela in which women are not permitted.

Carving of an Ethiopian saint inside Bet Golgotha. This is the only church in Lalibela in which women are not permitted.

IMG_3642.JPG A beautiful cross-shaped window

A beautiful cross-shaped window

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