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Lalibela

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Hanna Bekele
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The Historic route of Ethiopia

Lalibela

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The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela bear the name of King Lalibela (1181 -1221) to whom the inspiration of the churches is ascribed to. The eleven rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are the most miraculous and famous among the not-yet determined number of rock-hewn sanctuaries in Ethiopia. These eleven churches in two complexes in Lalibela are said to represent a reproduction of Jerusalem. The churches, except for the ground floor, are entirely separated from the surrounding rock by deep trenches, standing this way in a kind of courtyard. Their lighting systems, channels, water works, network of interconnected subterranean passageways and the sheer magnitude of the whole project are incredibly outstanding. King Lalibela, who was later canonized by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, is said to have taken 24 years to construct these Churches. There are some more fascinating ancient churches of high religious significance just outside Lalibela. These are Genete Mariam (the paradise of Mary): Yimrehanna Kristos (Christ show us the way): Naakute Le’Abe Church: Mekane Medhane Alem: Asheten Mariam (hidden under the ledge in the mountain overlooking the town of Lalibela in the east), Arbatu Enssessa (the Four Animals or Beasts), Bilbala Giorgis, Bilbala Cherqos, Sarsana Michael.

Lalibela
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