photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
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.
previous pagepages 1 2 3 ALL next page
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

IMG_3671.JPG
IMG_3677.JPG Typical Lalibela house construction

Typical Lalibela house construction

The mountain home of Asheton Maryam Monestary, as seen from Lalibela.  The Monestary sits in the notch in this mountain, about 2,000 feet above Lalibela.

The mountain home of Asheton Maryam Monestary, as seen from Lalibela. The Monestary sits in the "notch" in this mountain, about 2,000 feet above Lalibela.

Scenery on the ascent to Asheton Maryam

Scenery on the ascent to Asheton Maryam

A small village on the trail up to Asheton Maryam

A small village on the trail up to Asheton Maryam

Visiting Asheton Maryam involves climbing from Lalibela (8,200 feet) to the Monestary, which lies at 10,135 feet.

Visiting Asheton Maryam involves climbing from Lalibela (8,200 feet) to the Monestary, which lies at 10,135 feet.

Inside Asheton Maryam, a priest uses a cross to cure a local resident.  The ancient cross, said to date back to the 12th century along with the monestary itself, is reputed to have healing powers.

Inside Asheton Maryam, a priest uses a cross to cure a local resident. The ancient cross, said to date back to the 12th century along with the monestary itself, is reputed to have healing powers.

Asheton Maryam's ancient crosses

Asheton Maryam's ancient crosses

Inside Asheton Maryam

Inside Asheton Maryam

A priest inside Asheton Maryam

A priest inside Asheton Maryam

Asheton Maryam has a collection of books said to be at least 500 years old.

Asheton Maryam has a collection of books said to be at least 500 years old.

IMG_3886.JPG
IMG_3887.JPG Stunning scenery on the trail from Lalibela to Asheton Maryam

Stunning scenery on the trail from Lalibela to Asheton Maryam

IMG_4006.JPG A plateau halfway between Lalibela and Asheton Maryam houses a small village.

A plateau halfway between Lalibela and Asheton Maryam houses a small village.

A local family works with hay and livestock

A local family works with hay and livestock

IMG_4103.JPG IMG_4112.JPG Our mules head down the rocky, steep trail to Lalibela.

Our mules head down the rocky, steep trail to Lalibela.

Bet Giorgis, the most famous rock-hewn church in Lalibela

Bet Giorgis, the most famous rock-hewn church in Lalibela

Bet Giorgis

Bet Giorgis

Entrance to Bet Giorgis

Entrance to Bet Giorgis

IMG_4300.JPG
IMG_4308.JPG A priest displays the ancient crosses of Bet Giorgis Church

A priest displays the ancient crosses of Bet Giorgis Church

The remains of hermits in a wall nook near Bet Giorgis

The remains of hermits in a wall nook near Bet Giorgis

A priest at the entrance to Bet Giorgis

A priest at the entrance to Bet Giorgis

Carved window, Bet Giorgis

Carved window, Bet Giorgis

Residences in Lalibela

Residences in Lalibela

Bet Gebriel-Rafael in the southeastern cluster of churches in Lalibela

Bet Gebriel-Rafael in the southeastern cluster of churches in Lalibela

A priest shows us the crosses at Bet Gebriel-Rafael

A priest shows us the crosses at Bet Gebriel-Rafael

Bet Gebriel-Rafael.  This church is thought to date back to the 7th or 8th century, and may originally have been a secular building (like a palace) rather than a church.

Bet Gebriel-Rafael. This church is thought to date back to the 7th or 8th century, and may originally have been a secular building (like a palace) rather than a church.

Trenches around the southeastern cluster of churches

Trenches around the southeastern cluster of churches

A painting in Bet Mercurios, showing Saint Mercurios killing the evil King Oleonus.

A painting in Bet Mercurios, showing Saint Mercurios killing the evil King Oleonus.

Bet Emanuel

Bet Emanuel

Entrance of Bet Emanuel

Entrance of Bet Emanuel

IMG_4579.JPG We were told that the holes in the exterior of Bet Emanuel were the result of fighting during the revlution that overthrew the Derg communist regime.

We were told that the holes in the exterior of Bet Emanuel were the result of fighting during the revlution that overthrew the Derg communist regime.

Trench in the southeastern cluster of churches

Trench in the southeastern cluster of churches

Another priest shows us the traditional crosses under his care

Another priest shows us the traditional crosses under his care

Bet Abba Libanos

Bet Abba Libanos

IMG_4721.JPG The sun streams through clouds over Lalibela

The sun streams through clouds over Lalibela

IMG_4775.JPG A road near Lalibela being traversed by people carrying items to market

A road near Lalibela being traversed by people carrying items to market

IMG_4856.JPG A final look at the towering mountain that is the home of Asheton Maryam

A final look at the towering mountain that is the home of Asheton Maryam

previous pagepages 1 2 3 ALL next page