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The Historic route of Ethiopia


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Gondar, the city of castles and palaces, is the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. It became the Royal capital in 1636, in the time of the Emperor Fasiledes, who built the first and most famous of the castles. Gondar then served as the first modern capital of the country for Some 200 years, during which relative peace and stability was unusually assured in the country’s history. At this time a rich and distinct expression of architecture, art, music and literature flourished. Great care and attention was also paid to the pursuit of leisure and to provide the luxuries for the elite classes of society. Embellishments such as Turkish bath installations, the kitchen complex of Mintewab’s palace, the amusement park of Fassil and the dedication of a mausoleum to a horse attest to this. At the center of this development, the city of Gondar was known for its medieval pageantry, gilded regalia and extravagant ceremonies. The Castles of Gondar, the only ones of their kind on African soil, and the Debre Birhane Church renowned for its ceiling of angels’ faces are today what remains of Gondar’s glorious past. All of these exhibit a rich showcase of the high development of religious art, painting and architecture of the Gonderine period.

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