Ethiopia Historic Route is one of The Great treasures of Ethiopia. It encompasses the history of Ethiopia from its early beginnings to modern day. A history that stretches back to the time of prehistoric man; to the 3,000 year old history of Axum; the famous 12th century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and the Medieval castles of Gondar, which is Known as Africa’s Camelot.
The core of most itineraries for first-time visitors to Ethiopia is the quartet of towns that comprise the northern historical circuit. The oldest of these is Aksum, birthplace of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, reputed last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and site of innumerable obelisks, catacombs, palaces and other structures dating to the peak of the Aksumite Empire (500 BC to 500 AD). Then there the small but spiritually infused highland town of Lalibela, where the eponymous king excavated a singularly sublime subterranean complex of rock-hewn churches some 800 years ago. Gonder, founded in the 17th century, is best known for its Portuguese-influenced castles, though these are dwarfed aesthetically by the colorfully painted out-of-town church of Debre Birhan Selassie. Finally, the more modern city of Bahir Dar lies on Lake Tana at the outlet of the Blue Nile, within daytrip distance of the spectacular Blue Nile Falls and more than a dozen historic island monasteries.