Ethiopia is a land of mystery and spirituality, having ties to Jerusalem though the son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. Ethiopian Christians believe that the Ark of the Covenant is in Axum, Ethiopia.
Legend has it that Lalibela was built by King Lalibela, as a New Jerusalem. In a failed assignation attempt, the soul of King Lalibela was carried to heaven where God directed him to dig special churches, rather than build them, thus we have what some consider the 8th wonder of the world, the carved churches of Lalibela.
There are 11 of these churches. They date from the 1100s to the 1200s and are literally carved out the volcanic terrace, over 8000 feet above sea level.
All have the features of a constructed church and they are all connected by passage ways and tunnels.
They are active places of worship, placing importance on worship, as attested to by the monk cells carved in the unattached walls next to the churches.
Each church has created it's own cross design and has it's own clergy. This is also a place of pilgrimage and sometimes also pilgrims come here to die and have their remains stay.
The most famous church and definitely the most picturesque is Bet Giorgis. It is hewn in the shape of a cross from the bottom to the top and has wonderful details.
A tunnel leads to it's entrance with a small courtyard area in front and a spring to the side where baptisms are preformed. Truly you can feel the spirituality in this town.
Photos and story courtesy of Bob & Wilma.
Bob & Wilma in PangKlang Bun,
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