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Legacy

Ethiopia’s uniqueness makes it a fascinating destination for every kind of travell, but in particular for the traveler who wants that bit more. Ethiopia’s historic sites are extremely wide-ranging and possibly the most extensive in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. Experts claim that such sites are only a fraction of what Ethiopia has to offer given that a further 95% remain to be discovered and excavated.

The 8th wonder of the world: Lalibela

originally thought to have been built in the 12th century during the reign of King Lalibela, but some have been dated back to the 10th century. There are eleven churches, assembled in three groupings:

 The Northern Group: Bete Medhane Alem, home to the Lalibela Cross and believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world. It is linked to Bete Maryam (possibly the oldest of the churches), Bete Golgotha (known for its arts and said to contain the tomb of King Lalibela), the Selassie Chapel and the Tomb of Adam.

The Western Group: Bete Giyorgis, said to be the most finely executed and best preserved church.

The Eastern Group: Bete Amanuel, Bete Merkorios, Bete Abba Libanos and Bete Gabriel-Rufael. Further a field lay the monastery of Ashetan Maryam and Yimrehane Kristos church.

The Castles of Gondar

 Inscribed as one of the World Heritage: 748 kilometers from Addis Ababa is the graceful city of Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1635. The city was Ethiopia's capital until the reign of the would-be reforming Emperor Tewodros II, also known as Theodore. During its long years as a capital city, the settlement emerged as one of the largest and most popular cities in the realm. Gondar is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. The earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is possible to climb its stats all the way to the roof, which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city. Besides the famous palaces, visitors can inspect the so-called "Bathing Palace of Emperor Fasilidas" which is used for the annual Timket or Epiphany celebrations.

Axum

Also one of world heritages site: Axum historical and archaeological sites, central Tigray (Tigray Region) Rightly famous for its obelisks, Axum was the capital of the Axumite kingdom – once one of the four kingdoms of the world. It was also home to the Queen of Sheba whose ruined palace and bathing pool can still be found in and near the town.

Awash Lower Valley paleontological and prehistoric sites

One of world heritages sites: Archaeologists and anthropologists continually claim that the oldest hominid remains (Australopithecus ramidus, a new species, and 4.4 million years old) were originally discovered here in the Afar region. More recent findings by Professor Tim White from the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that the earliest ape man lived in Ethiopia 5 million years ago (Daily Telegraph, Monday 18th January 1999).

Harar

The city of Harar and the wall Harar is considered to be one of the world heritages sites also the oldest cities. Harar is considered a prime Muslim holy city, and within its walls are no less than 90 mosques. It was founded in the 12th century and in 1520 was captured by Ahmed Gragn who from Harar invaded large parts of Ethiopia. The major beauties of Harar are its colorful people and its unique atmosphere. It's a pleasure to walk around the city, look at the people and bargain at the markets. As a centre of commerce, which it used to be, Harar feels like a place where people live and let live.

Tyia

Not far from Addis Ababa, in the Soddo Region, is a Field that contains steal found nowhere else in the world. A cemetery was uncovered, with bodies buried in the position of prayer. We are in the very mysterious archeological site of Tiya, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1980.There are 40 steal in this cemetery. Bodies of people aged 18 to 30 were found,” the custodian in charge of the World Heritage site. “It is likely they were warriors, because the sword is the most predominant image on the steal.” The largest stele, situated at the entrance of the site, was five meters high but is now broken in two.

The Simien Mountain National Park

The Park was one of the first four sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. The Simien Mountain is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4620m), which is the fourth highest peak in the continent. Although Simien is in Africa and not too far from the equator, snow and ice appear on the highest points and night temperatures often fall below zero. The national park has three general botanical regions. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers, splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. The park was created primarily to protect the Walia Ibex, and over 1000 are said to live in the park. Also in the park are families of the unique Gelada Baboon with its scarlet ‘bleeding heart on its chest,’ and the rare Simien fox. The Simien fox, although named after the mountains are rarely seen by the visitor. Over 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simien Mountains.

Australopithecus afarensis: {Lucy} the cradle

Australopithecus afarensis is a recently discovered Hominid species which lived in north east Africa, in the Hadar region of Ethiopia). Until 1995, this species was the earliest known member of the Hominid family. Australopithecus afarensis lived from approximately 4 to 2.7 million years ago along the northern Rift valley of east Africa, and perhaps even earlier.

  Fragments of more than 300 individuals of Australopithecus afarensis have been discovered so far, including a remarkably complete skeleton of an adult female (nick- named "Lucy") shown above and to the right. "Lucy" was found in 1974 near Hadar in Ethiopia. Her skeleton has provided a wealth of information about the ancestral line of human beings, some of it quite surprising. The illustration on the right shows "Lucy" in comparison with a modern human female. She was only about 3 feet, 8 inches tall. One of the world relics

 

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