Axum and Tigray

As a home of ancient kingdom in Africa and one of world heritage sites in the country, Axum is one of magnificent tourist destinations in Ethiopia. Curved out of single piece of granite, the world’s most famous and mysterious oblisks of Aksum witnessed the glorious of ancient civilization. The tallest one measuring about 34m, is fallen (may be during an attempt to erect) and broken. The second tallest (24m), which was taken to Rome is returned and re-erected recently. The third tallest (23m) and many other smaller obelisks are still standing at their original sites. Another significant attraction is the famous cathedral of Axum Tsion, in which the Ark of the Covenant is kept. The original one, built by King Ezana with gold, silver and diamonds, is said to have been destroyed by Gudit during upheavals and reconstructed several times. The actual rectangular church was built by Emperor Fasiledes and the round church by Haile Sellassie I to serve women, for entrance to the old one is only the privilege of men. The cathedral still possesses impressive and innumerable ancient relics in its museum.

• The archaeological museum of Axum is enriched with valuable archaeological remains discovered in Axum and in the surroundings.
• The famous stone tablets of Ezana, inscribed in the Greek, Geez and Sabean languages, witness the glory of Axum during that time.
• Complex ruined palace and swimming pool of the legendary Queen of Sheba
• Unique stone thrones, where Ethiopian kings used to be crowned in front of Tsion Church, Remarkable tombs of kings Bazen, Kaleb and Gabra Maskal; and many historical monuments and antiquities are few of other attractions.

Tigray Rock Hewn Churches

There are hundreds of Rock Hewn Churches over the mountains of Tigray. The rock churches are found in sandstone escarpments; stone built villages and cave churches in Gheralta, Timben, Hawezien, Atsibidera, Genta Afeshum, and Wukro and in many other places scattered unevenly. They vary from their modifications that roughly hewn out, beautifully elaborate wall murals and they are hidden in valleys, cliff faces and indeed, mountain tops. The town of Hawizen is a base for exploring these churches to any direction. Some of these churches are found in scenery of mountains, difficult ascent; others are famous for their stone workmanship, ancient paintings and manuscripts.

AL Negashi Mosque

Between Aksum and Mekelle tourists can visit Al Negashi Mosque, which is known to be the first Foot Print where Islamic Faith was introduced to Ethiopia and the world nearly 1,300 years ago.
YEHA – Ethiopia’s Oldest Town
Yeha is located 50km East of Axum. It is another historic places ornamented with an attractive rock pillars and buildings. The temple of Yeha is the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia and was the largest pre- Christian Temple.

Debre Damo Monastrey
Driving 85 kms east from Axum one can visit the Monastry of Debre Damo. It’s well-known for its magnificent view and extensive collections of precious manuscripts. The monastery is only accessible by climbing up with rope, which visitors tie around their waist and are then pulled up by a monk at the top of the cliffs. Only men get access to visit it.