Addis Ababa (the name means ‘new flower’) is of fairly recent origin – Menelik 11 founded the city in 1887. Situated in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and standing 2,400 metres above sea level it is the third highest capital in the world. The city has a population of about two million.
Before moving to the present site of Addis Ababa, Menelik had established temporary capitals at six different locations caused by exhausting the fuel wood at each of these sites. Addis itself was in danger of being abandoned until the introduction of fast-growing eucalyptus trees from Australia provided the city with a regular source of fuel.
Addis Ababa is an important administrative centre not only for Ethiopia but also for the whole of Africa. The headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa was established here in 1958 and it is the site of the OAU’s secretariat.
Africa Hall is on Menelik 11 Ave – an imposing symbol of African independence and optimism. It houses the headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. The huge stained glass windows depict the suffering of the people of Africa.
The Filwoha springs are just to the west of the Africa Hall. These springs, which have obviously lost some of their former beauty, prompted Queen Taytu to persuade her husband to establish his new capital at Addis Ababa. The thermal waters are now diverted to an adjacent bathing complex.
Also next to the Africa Hall lies the huge Square a natural amphitheater where parades are held every September to mark the 1974 revolution. Portraits of Marx, Angels, Lenin and Comrade Mengistur used to adorn the square.
St George’s Cathedral:
St George’s Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral). lies at the north end of Churchill Rd. Built in 1896 in the traditional octagonal shape to commemorate Ethiopia’s victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa, the Cathedral houses the work of Afewerk Tekle, the renowned Ethiopian artist responsible for the stained glass windows of the Africa Hall. Cathedral opens 0800-0900 and 1200-1400. There is a small museum in the compound.
The Menelik Mausoleum:
The Menelik Mausoleum, built in 1941 to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes, and the Trinity Cathedral, are located nearby St. George’s. The Trinity Cathedral was built to commemorateEthiopia’s liberation from five years of Italian occupation.
Haile Selassie’s Grand palace:
Haile Selassie’s Grand palace is located north east of Churchill Ave at the end of Colsen St. The Emperor has a second residence, Jubilee Palace, on Menelik Ave, just north of the Ghion Hotel.
The small National Museum is located at Han St / Kilo crossroads, just north of St Mary’s Church. Guides are the only real source of information, since the exhibits are poorly labelled, but they vary in standard. The exhibits are varied, and include Lucy; the female fossil skeleton found in northeast Ethiopia in 1974, believed to be about three and a half million years old. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, some predating the Axumite civilization of Tigre. It also includes a selection of the more than 200 designs of crosses found in Ethiopia. It is open from 0830-1230 and 1330-1730.
Near the museum are the Lion Cages, probably the only place in Ethiopia to see the Abyssinian lion. The cages are probably best not visited by animal lovers.
Menelik IISquare: In Menelik II Square stands the imposing equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II, the victor of Adawa. The statue was erected by Emperor Haile Selassie and dedicated on the day before his coronation in 1930, in memory of his great predecessor. The square is located outside the main gates of St. George Cathedral (Genete Tsige Menagesha Kidus Giorgis), and is close to City Hall. The distance markers on all the highways in Ethiopia mark the distance to their location from the base of the statue of Emperor Menelik II in this Square. Every year, on the anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Adawa, the Emperor would lay a wreath at this statue after attending mass at St. George Cathedral (the victory had occurred on St. George’s Day). Col. Mengistu continued laying a wreath here on the anniversary, but did not attend the church services as his regime was Marxist.
Yekatit 12 Martyrs Square (Sidist Kilo
The Yekatit 12 Square (Sidist Kilo) monument stands in tribute to the thousands of innocent martyrs butchered by the Fascist Italian Occupiers on that date in in the Ethiopian Calender year of 1929 (1936 Gregorian Calendar). The massacre took place at the order of the Italian Vice-Roy Marshal Grazziani in response to an assassination attempt against him carried out by two pro-Ethiopia Eritreans. The monument is shown here during a religious procession of priests of the Orthodox Church, probably at Timkat (Epiphany). Wreaths were laid here by the Emperor to commemorate the massacre every year. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam continued this practice during his rule, but for a time after the fall of the Dergue regime, only the Mayor of Addis carried out this practice. Recently, the President of the Federal Republic has taken over this task. The monument is in the form of a white obelisk with black bas reliefs of scenes of the massacre as well as scenes of the Imperial funeral accorded to the remains of the victims in the presence of the Emperor following the liberation around it. A Lion of Judah also decorates the face of the obelisk. Even though the image of the Lion of Judah and the Emperor Haile Selassie were removed from all over the city during the reign of the Dergue, they suprisingly did not touch this monument. The monument stands in the Sidist Kilo square infront of the Yekatit 12 Hospital (formerly Emperor Haile Selassie Hospital and known before that as the Beite Saida Hospital). Also facing the square are the southern gates of the Guenete Leul Palace, which today is the main campus of the Addis Ababa University (formerly Haile Selassie I University). Another major attraction adjoining the square is the old Imperial Lion Zoo, where many of the old Imperial lions and their decendents live. The Churches of Menbere Leul Kidus Markos (Altar of Princes St. Marks Church) and the Meskia Hazunan Medhane Alem are both nearby, as are the former palaces of the Crown Prince (later the Political Cadre’s College during the Dergue Era), the Duke of Harrar (later the Headquarters of the Womens wing of the Workers Party of Ethiopia), and Princess Tenagnework (later the headquarters of the Ethiopian Navy), as well as the American and Greek Embassies.
Meyazia 27 Square (Arat Kilo): is the official name of what is popularly known as Arat Kilo, a name that applies both to the square and the surrounding district of the city of Addis Ababa. The monument at the heart of the Square commemorates the victory over the fascist Italian invaders, and the struggle that preceded it (Meyazia 27 on the Ethiopian Calendar, May 5th on the Gregorian Calendar, is both the day that Addis Ababa was occupied by the Fascists, as well as the day that Emperor Haile Selassie returned to his capital in triumph exactly 5 years later). The original monument includes a relief of the Emperor Haile Selassie holding the national flag, which was altered during the reign of the Dergue regime into a representation of a guerrilla fighter holding the national flag. The EPRDF regime that deposed the Dergue restored the Emperor’s face to the monument. The central obelisk, topped by a Lion of Judah, actually predates the fascist occupation, and the surrounding circle of relief figures and monumental panels was added after the war. The Arat Kilo monument stands at the heart of Addis Ababa’s government district, and in front of the Ministry of Education building (not shown here). Holy Trinity Cathedral (whose dome can be seen in the background) and the Parliament building are nearby, as are the present office of the Prime Minister and the Imperial Palace. Also nearby are the Science College, the Holy Trinity Theological college, Emperor Menelik II High School and the Berhan Ena Selam Printing Press. Foreign Heads of State customarily lay a wreath at this monument during state visits. This square was the focus of Victory Day celebrations held on May 5th (Meyazia 27) every year when the Emperor would lay a wreath here following his attendance at Mass at Meskia Hazunan Medhane Alem Church (Church of the Savior of the World, Consoler of the Grieved). The Dergue regime changed the date of Victory Day to the day that General Cunningham and his British, South African and Nigerian Troops actually entered the city. The post Dergue government in Ethiopia has restored Victory Day to it’s original date.
The Lion of Judah Monument: The Lion of Judah Monument stands in the square in front of Addis Ababa’s train station. The golden colored statue of the Lion of Judah in it’s complete glory stands on a black granite pedestal which is decorated with relief portraits of Emperors Menelik II and Haile Selassie I, and Empress Zewditu, as well as Ras Makonnen. It marks the foot of the city’s widest and avenue, Churchill Road which has the impressive Addis Ababa City Hall at it’s other end. The Lion of Judah statue has a very interesting history. Erected in 1930 just before Emperor Haile Selassie’s coronation, it was looted by the Italian occupiers in 1935 and taken to Rome, where it was erected next to the Vittorio Emanuelle Monument. During the 4th anniversary celebrations of the proclomation of the Itlian Empire, Adolf Hitler chose to visit Rome, and attended the celebratory parades along side the Fascist Dictator Musollini and King Victor Emanuelle III. In the parade were numerous subjects of Italy’s African Empire, including a young Eritrean named Zerai Deres. Zerai Deres was marching with other parade members carrying a ceremonial sword with which to salute the King, the Fuhrer, and el Duce, at the grandstand. As the parade marched past the Vittorio Emauelle monument, Zerai looked up and saw to his shock, the golden Lion of Judah, the symbol of the ancient monarchy to which his ancestors had long owed aliegence, erected as war booty in the heart of Rome. It was too much for him to bear, and he promptly drew his sword and with tears of anger running down his face he fell on the first Italian officer he could find. He killed and wounded numerous Italian military officers before he was killed. Zerai Deres is lionized to this day as a brave Ethiopian patriot. The monument remained in Rome for several decades, and was finally returned to Addis Ababa after long negotiations in the 1960’s. When it was re-erected in it’s square the day it arrived, the Emperor was present in military uniform to salute, and to pay tribute to Zerai Deres. Following the revolution in 1974, the Dergue regime decided to remove the statue once more as it was a monarchist symbol. However, the elderly war veterans association members appealed to the Dergue to consider the memory of Zerai Deres and his sacrifice that was inspired by this very symbol. This act saved the statue and it stood it all it’s Imperial glory right through the Dergue era, and continues to stand today.
Abune Petros Memorial: Just West of Addis Ababa’s impressive City Hall, down the hill on the main road to the Merkato district is Abune Petros Square with it’s imposing statue. Abune Petros, the Ethiopian Orthodox Bishop of Wello who was executed by the Italians at the edge of this very square. Abune Petros was one of the four first native Ethiopians who were anointed as bishops by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria to serve under the Coptic born Archbishop Abune Kerllos of Ethiopia in 1932. Abune Petros was given the province of Wello as his diocese. In 1936, the Fascist armies of Benito Mussolini occupied much of Ethiopia, and Abune Petros traveled to the northern Shewan district of Menz to join the sons of Ras Kassa, Dejazmatches Wondwossen, Abera and Asfa Wossen Kassa and other resistance leaders to plan an attack on the Italians to drive them out of Addis Ababa. The attack failed in 1937, and the Bishop was captured. Defiantly refusing to submit to Italian rule, he was condemned to death. Shortly before his execution Abune Petros Bishop of Wello, dressed in his clerical robes, held up his hand cross and pronounced his anathema on the people and on the very earth of Ethiopia itself, if they were ever to submit to the invader. He was then shot to death in front of a horrified audience. Emperor Haile Selassie had the statue erected in the memory of this great Bishop upon his restoration to the throne. The spot of his execution on the western edge of this square is also marked by a memorial slab. Sadly, during the brutal rule of the Dergue regime, the bodies of many victims of the “Red Terror” were displayed in this square.
The Mercato is located in western Addis Ababa and is one of the largest markets in Africa offering an array of colors, aromas, costumes, produce and jewellery. Beware of pickpockets. In Mercato virtually every possible commodity is on sale, from livestock to computers.
Entity is the mountain range that rises to the north of Addis and is easily accessible from the city. This is where Menelik started his first capital, and the Church of Entonto Mariam where he was crowned can still be visited At the top of the hill is the Church of Entonto Raguel which offers stunning views.
Aberus Ethiopia Tours
I am proud to introduce you with Ethiopia as a destination where only few have been before. Ethiopia is a country bestowed with all tourist attractions be it historical, cultural and natural. Ethiopia is unique with no resemblance to your past experience anywhere in the globe. I tried my best to make this Blog informative about Ethiopia as a tourist destination and help travelers to choose Ethiopia as a destination and what to look forward in Ethiopia before set off their foot.
Image by Miradortigre
Lutheran Cathedral Helsinki
The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas’ Church until the independence of Finland in 1917.
A distinctive landmark in the Helsinki cityscape, with its tall, green dome surrounded by four smaller domes, the building is in the neoclassical style. It was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel as the climax of his Senate Square layout: it is surrounded by other, smaller buildings designed by him.
The church’s plan is a Greek cross (a square centre and four equilateral arms), symmetrical in each of the four cardinal directions, with each arm’s façade featuring a colonnade and pediment. Engel originally intended to place a further row of columns on the western end to mark the main entrance opposite the eastern altar, but this was never built.
Catedral Luterana de Helsinki en un dia de evento festivo
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