ADDIS ABABA – ‘new flower’ Addis Ababa (the name means ‘new flower’), the Ethiopian capital, a delightful place to explore. It is a city of surprises characterized by remarkable diversity and contrasts. It is of fairly recent origin – Menelik II founded the city in 1886. Built in the foothills of Mount Entoto, the panorama of Addis Ababa from the 3,200 meter peak , either by day or night, is a breath taking spectacle. The neighbouring Church of St Mary (1885) overlooks the entire city and the surrounding area.
Addis Ababa is very hilly, and sits more than 2,200 meters high, 9 degrees north of the Equator. Nestled in the central mountain region, in Shewa Province, on the western ridge of the Great Rift Valley,Addis Ababa is the third highest city in the world.
From its inception Addis Ababa was clustered around two main centres: the National Palace to the east and the market, with Saint George’s Church, to the west. Together they generated so much activity that the capital grew and developed rapidly. For many years Addis Ababa has been recognized as the Diplomatic Capital of Africa. It was chosen for the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1958 and later, in 1963, for the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU). The Ethiopian capital is also the home of regional UN organizations and more than 100 embassies and diplomatic missions. Thus, Addis Ababa is the world’s fourth most important city of Embassies and international organizations after Washington DC, New York and London.
Places to visit in Addis Ababa include the Emperor Menelik II Palace (not yet open for public ),the Menelik Mausoleum, Africa Hall(permission required), the octagon-shaped St. George Cathedral, Jubilee Palace, Trinity Cathedral, the Ethnological Museum (located on the main campus of Addis Ababa University), the National Archeological Museum, The Old Imperial Lion Zoo and Merkato. There are also historical monuments to visit while you drive through the city. Some of them include