Ethiopia’s wonderful architectural heritages, the Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela has always impressed the world. The monolithic Churches were built centuries ago and they still catch the eyes and hearts of tourists from around the globe. It reflects the then civilization of the country.

There are two views regarding the ancient civilization and respective architecture of the time. According to the hagiography of King Lalibela, the church is built by religious Ethiopians supported by angels. In this regard, the whole architectural knowledge is attributed to spiritual revelation. The other view is that the then Ethiopian architectural civilization had the capacity to build such an edifice. But the fact of the matter is this dynamic architecture is built during the reign of King Lalibela in the 12th century. Even the name of the churches is given after the name of the king.

Today, the legacy of this architectural knowledge has been replicated by a person called Abba Gebremeskel Tessema, a monk who is living in the Gashina town of Northern Wollo Zone in Amhara State. He revived the knowledge of constructing notable architecture from a single rock. The whole construction system is derived from the ancient architectural knowledge that resulted in the 11 Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela. Abba Gebremeskel used traditional tools to craft and erect the church. Since 2011, he has accomplished the construction of four churches crafted from a single rock.


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