Lalibela medieval settlement in the Lasta area of Wallo, lies at the centre of an extensive complex of rock churches. Some can be reached by one or two hours’ drive, others are a full day’s journey. Lalibela has 11 remarkable rock-hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by King Lalibela in the late 12th or early 13th Century.
These notable structures are carved, inside and out, into the solid rock, and are considered to be among the wonders of the world. Each building is architecturally unique but each reflects beautifully executed craftsmanship, and several are decorated with fascinating paintings. These astonishing edifices remain places of living worship to this day.
Ethiopia went through a long period without a fixed capital. When it was time to have one, there was no better settlement than the one at Gonder. Besides being the largest settlement in the country, it was an important administrative, commercial, religious, and cultural center. It was also noted for the skills of its many craftsmen.
Gonder became the capital of Ethiopia during the reign of Emperor Faciladas (1632-1667). Faciladas was responsible for the building of the fist castle-like palaces, the most magnificent of all the castles. In most European cases, the single castle such as the above would have been sufficient to serve as palace for successive generations.
The old medieval walled city of Harar – a city of mosques, minarets, and markets, a centre of Muslim learning, a city which once struck its own local currency, and still has its own unique language – has long been regarded by the outside world as a city of mystery and romance.
The walls of Harar were pierced in early times by five gates, a number supposed to symbolize the Five Pillars of Islam. These gates, known to the Hararis as bari, were situated respectively to the north, east, south-east, south, and west of the city. Each had its own distinctive name, and provided entry and egress to caravans traveling to and from different stretches of the surrounding country.
The history of Negash begins from the 7th century AD; it is the place where the first mosque was constructed in Ethiopia. It is also serves as enduring reminder of the warm welcome extended by the Ethiopian king of the time Nejashi Ashama,when those Muslims including the family of the prophet Mohammed includes his daughter, his cousin and his wives filed from persecution from their own land and found refuge in Ethiopia. Negash is considered by many the second most sacred place of Islamic worship and also for Ethiopian Muslims as” the Second Mekkah”.