Lalibela – Praising Monolithic Churches

23-24 January 2018


A 40-minute southerly flight takes me over astonishing landscape from Aksum to the remarkable Amhara city of Lalibela. The view of the Simien Mountains, Tekezé River and 200 miles of rugged Ethiopia is amazing.

Tukul of Lalibela

The city of Lalibela is small, about 30,000 people, but one of the most important in all Ethiopia. There are hundreds of rock churches in Ethiopia, but Lalibela contains 11 monolithic churches (built of a single large block of stone). These 12th century churches are carved out of pink volcanic tufa which is softer than granite. As a group, the rock-hewn churches and surrounding tukul stone and grass huts have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ethiopians look upon the entire city of Lalibela as a “sculpture” dedicated to the glory of God. (more…)