King Lalibela

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Facts you should consider while traveling to Ethiopia

Ethiopians are proud of their culture and civilization. They do not expect or warrant condescending behaviour. For the most part, they are sociable toward gusts. In the |towns, you will oftentimes find young men – or rather, they will find you – who will propose to lead you about. Unemployment is high, and they will possibly be out of work and hoping for a tip and an opportunity to learn something concerning your part of the world.

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Basic facts about the weather of Ethiopia

Much of Ethiopian is uneven highlands: Addis Ababa, the capita stands at an altitude of about seven thousand nine hundred feet| seven thousand and nine hundred feet. Consequently temperatures are pleasanteven cool – in fact not tropical.

Highest daytime temperatures infrequently rise above seventy one degree fahrenheit and for much of the year on the infrequently rise above sixty one or sixty four degree fahrenheit. Nevertheles temperatures can change by fifteen degree celcious or more in as many minutes, and a difference of up to thirty degree celcious between day and night is possible. Temperature at night frequently drop to a chilly fifty degree Fahrenheit or less. Most places are also swept by winds that can be strong and dust-laden in dry areas.

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Clothing cautions while traveling to Ethiopia

Lots of tourists are surprised at how cool it can be in the Ethiopian highlands. Get prepared for unexpected mountain storms and cold weather. During the day in the dry season, lightweight clothing is right neverthelessit is desirable to carry a lightweight sweater. A jacket or sweater is very important for evenings. For cold days in the ‘winter’ rainy season (from June to September), light woolen clothing is comfortable.

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Bet Danaghel (House of the Virgin Martyrs)

Extending out at the south of the Bet Maryam (The house of Mary) courtyard is the little chapel of Bet Danaghel 8.6 m. length and 3.6 m. height. It’s one of the rock-hewn church in Lalibela.

This small chapel is linked with one of the most fascinating legends of Lalibela. According to a legend recorded in the Ethiopian Book of Martyrs, the chapel was contracted in honor of 50 Christian maiden nuns murdered by the Roman ruler Julian the Apostate in the 4th century. 

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Bet Medhane Alem (House of the Redeemer of the World)

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Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world, measuring 11.5m in height and covering an area of almost 800m2.

A plain building, held up by 36 pillars on the inside and another 36 around the outside, Bet Medhane Alem has a classical dignity reminiscent of an Ancient Greek temple, a resemblance that has led some experts to imagine it was modeled on the original St Mary Zion Church built by King Ezana at Axum.

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The Zagwe dynasty

The Zagwe dynasty ruled Ethiopia from the end of the Kingdom of Axum at an unsure date in the 9th or 10th century to 1270.

It is noted to derive its name from the Agaw people, meaning “Agaw” or literally “of Agaw” (ze meaning “of” in Ge’ez). Its famous king was Gebre Mesqel Lalibela (King Lalibela), who is accountable for the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.

David Buxton has affirmed that the area under the direct rule of the Zagwe kings probably embraced:

• the highlands of modern Eritrea 
• the whole of Tigrai
• extending southwards to Waag
• Lasta
• Damot (Wallo province) and 
• westwards towards Lake Tana (Beghemdir)

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The Holy City of Lalibela and its legend

 From the time when the first European, Francisco Alvarez (visited the holy city between 1521 and 1525), travelers named the rock churches of Lalibela as:

• A “New Jerusalem”
• A “New Golgotha”
• The “Christian Citadel in the Mountains of Wondrous Ethiopia”

The Zagwe dynasty had come to authority in the eleventh century, one hundred years after Queen Judith (also called Gudit), a woman warrior had led her tribes up from the Semein Mountains to demolish Axum (the capital of the ancient Ethiopian empire in the north).

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King Lalibela (1189 to 1229)

Gebre Mesqel Lalibela (also called “Lalibela”, which means “the bees recognize his sovereignty” in Old Agaw language) is the most famous and marveled of all the Zagwe kings reigned in Ethiopia.
 
He is well known for building the eleven famous rock-hewn churches in his capital city, known as Roha. The eleven rock-hewn churches are:

• Madhané Alam
• Maryam
• Denagel
• Sellasé
• Golgotha
• Mika’él
• Amanu’él
• Marquréwos
• Abba Libanos
• Gabr’él-Rufa’él, and
• Giyorgis
King Lalibela was born at either Adefa or Roha (it was later named Lalibela after him). Lalibela’s life is full of legends.

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