Gondar

Gondar was the site of Ethiopia’s Capital City from the years 1666 to 1864. In 1635, Emperor Fasilidas built a historic castle complex. Also, there are many magnificently painted churches in the area as well such as Debre Berhane Selassie.

Gondar is the site of the annual Timkat holiday where thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are baptized. The ancient bathing pool built by Emperor Fasilidas is used as the baptismal site.

Bahir Dar

Bahir Dar is a beautiful city in the Province of Gojjam. It lies on the shore of Ethiopia’s largest body of water, Lake Tana. Lake Tana is the home to 37 islands and 20 monasteries of rich historical significance. It is told that on one of the islands, the Ark of the Covenant was held for a length of time. Lake Tana is also the source of the Blue Nile River which begins in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan. Not far from Bahir Dar are the majestic Blue Nile falls which are known in Amharic as Tisissat or “The water that smokes.“ The city is lined with beautiful palm trees and has a lovely beach on the shore for watching Pelicans and occasionally Hippo.

Harar

Located in the Eastern side of Ethiopia, Harar is one of the most holy sites for Islam in the country. Within the city. there are 90 mosques in operation. Harar was built in the 12th century and in 1520 was captured by the Muslim Warrior, Ahmed Gragn.

He used it as a base to attack large parts of Ethiopia. In 1887, It was recaptured by Emperor Menelik II who appointed Ras Makonnen, one of his Generals to be the Governor. It was later governed by the son of Ras Makonnen, young Tafari Makonnen who would later have the title of Emperor Haile Selassie I in the 20th century. Some of the attractions here are Emperor Haile Selassie I’s former house, the Hyena Men who feed hyenas right out of their hands and mouths, and the beautiful city with its markets and colorful people.

Axum

Axum is truly a legendary and historic town. Besides being the foundation of Ethiopian civilization, It is a site of many ruins of magnificent palaces, obelisks carved from solid granite and underground tombs of past kings and emperors. The Obelisks or Stelae that wereconstructed here are known throughout the world

Axum is also the home to the Biblical legend of the Ark of The Covenant. It is said to lie in the St. Mary of Zion Church for many centuries past. Up until the time of Emperor Haile Selassie I, Axum was used as the coronation site for all of the royal families of Ethiopia.

Lalibela

Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most historic sites. 13 amazing rock-hewn churches were carved here in the end of the eleventh century during the reign of King Lalibela.

There are many legends told about King Lalibela and his construction of the churches. Some say that he was poisoned by his brother and   during the three days he was unconscious, he was taken to heaven where he witnessed a city of rock- hewn churches. He returned from heaven to build these churches. Whatever the truth of what happened is, Lalibela exists as the 8th wonder of the world.