Lalibela churches

This place is totally unique, dating back to the 12 century and at one point was seen as the second Jerusalem. In fact there is some merit to this as King Lalibela for which the town is named after is said to have visited Jerusalem and then decided to recreate it in what was then his capital city. The town is considered holy, second only to Axum and has a predominantly Ethiopian Orthodox Christian population.

Lalibela is justifiably famous for its 11 rock-hewn churches. Amazingly each church is carved from a single piece of rock to symbolize spirituality and humility. Firstly you will need to take a guide otherwise you will simply have no idea of what you are seeing. The churches are also divided into 4 distinct groups.

The most famous is St George’s church which is carved downward from volcanic tuff. It was also the last of the 11 churches to be built. The inside contains a shrine to St George who rests behind a curtain. Sadly unless you are a priest viewing is forbidden.

The largest church is Biete Medhane Alem which also goes by the glorious title of Church of the Savior of the World and covers an area of almost 800m2  …

Another striking feature of the churches are the many tunnels and passageways. Some of them are rather spooky.

I was lucky to be there during a saint day and captured these two beautiful girls.