Historic Attractions Lalibela
LALIBELA, Set at 2,600 m above sea level in the rugged mountains in the northern end of Wollo, is the most exciting attraction of the country, from where the Zagwe Dynasty ruled the country for more than 2 centuries. Lalibella formerly known as Roha, the town of Lalibela bears the name of its most famous king “Lalibela” (1181 – 1221A.D). There are eleven rock hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by king Lalibela, which are architecturally unique buildings, finely carved, some decorated with beautiful paintings. There is nothing that could be more attractive than the fascinating and impressive churches with their ancient architecture and carving. The churches of Lalibela are the eighth wonders of the world.
The monolithic Bet Giorgis – dedicated to the national saint of Ethiopia is isolated from the other two groups of churches. It is located in the southwest of the village on a sloping rock terrace. In its deep pit with perpendicular walls it can only be reached through a tunnel which is entered from some distance away through a trench. Small round caves and chambers have been found in the walls of the courtyard graves for pious pilgrims and monks. The church is described as Lalibela’s “most elegant” and “refined” in its architecture and stone masonry. Although its floor plan is of a cross with nearly equal arms the church is properly orientated, the main entrance being in the west, the holy of holies in the east.