Debre Libanos Church and Portuguese Bridge
Drive 110 kilometers north of Addis Ababa over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos, founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot. Overlooking the Jemma River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, this Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. Also visit a 16th Century bridge still in use today and said to have been built by Portuguese.
Adadi Mariam Rock-Hewn Church and Tiya
A pleasant drive 38 kilometers south of Addis 38 is the Adadi Mariam church—a 13th century rock-hewn church— known as Ethiopia’s southern most church of this type. The rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam is much like the Lalibela churches and the locals believe it to have been built on King Lalibela orders on his visit to Mount Zuquala in 1106. The church was damaged during the wars with Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, but was reopened in the time of Menelik II. Not far from the church is the historical site of Tiya with its enigmatic field of stele adorned by unusual engravings. Tiya has been named one of Ethiopia’s seven UNESCO “World Heritage Sites.”