The Castles of Gondar - FOOTPRINT Ethiopia Tours & Travel


The Castles of Gondar


Gondar Tours focus on the buildings that make up the Royal Enclosure; the earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is possible to climb its stats all the way to the roof, which commands a breath-taking view over much of the city. Visitors can inspect the so-called “Bathing Palace of Emperor Fasilidas” which is used for the annual Timket or Epiphany celebrations, and the abbey of the redoubtable eighteenth century Empress Menteweb at Qwesquam, in the mountains just outside Gondar.
This Gondar famous castles and imperial buildings remain one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating sights.
Besides the royal enclosure, Gondar tours includes Debre Berhan Selassie Church; perhaps the country’s most famous Church The winged heads of 80 Ethiopian cherubs covers the ceiling – all with slightly different expressions. No less impressive are the paintings on the wall attributed to the same artist. Full Of all the color, life, wit and humanity of Ethiopian art, they provide an excellent overview of Ethiopian saints and martyrs.
End the day at Weleka where a very small number of individuals still claim descent from the Felasha Jews and sell trinkets to make a living.
There’s a chance to visit a Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town – this requires a walk through a field, and then crossing a small river (where we recommend shoes are removed) and climbing the far bank to the cemetery. It’s a difficult walk but it offers the opportunity to understand the influence the Jews had on the history and formation of the Ethiopian soul.
Tours in Gondar can be extended as a day trip south to Gorgora, at the northern end of Lake Tana, and visit the very fine and recently restored medieval church of Debre Sina Mariam or a day trip or longer treks in to the awe-inspiring Simien Mountains National parks. (It is UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and Ethiopia’s popular hiking destination.)

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