The exeptional Abune Yemata Monastery located in Tigray (350 kilometers from Addis) is one site with unique features but little explored by tourists. In particular hickers will undoubtedly have an unforgetable experience by visiting Abune Yemata which is ofter refered to as the origin of what is now the Ethiopian Orthodox church dogma. 

Abune Yemata is said to have built by 9 monks, some of whom were fleeing persecution for their worship while others joined to get away from secular life . Abune Yemata stands is built in the perfect place to meet the needs of its refuges.

While the exact date of when the church was exactly hewn remains contraversial, many agree that it Abune Yemata Monastery was in place since the 5th century AD. Abune Yemata is a monastery which leaves any vistor speechless.

The engeneering of Abune Yemata remains a wonder. It is built on a sandstone cliff 25,000 feets tall, where going up and down is not only tiresome but hazardous if care is not applied. 

The climb will however be worth it as once you go up the hill and get to the monastery, you will come face to face with inside decoration of the carved church where every inch of the inside wall is covered by amazing paintings. The style of the paintings are what are now known as the traditional painting style of the orthodox church.

Abune Yemata is also home to some of the oldest books in Ethiopia written by hand on goat skin. Many of the books which are exclusively found in the church have huge religious as well as historical values.



Abune Yemata , used as refuge by the monks centuries ago, is now regarded as a holy place by many orthodox christians. A tourist will be amazed to see mothers, climbing this gigantic cliff with their new born children on their backs to have them baptized in this unique historical site

Information on how to visit Abune Yemata

Modes of transportation: You will have to go by car from Mekele;

Temperature: average temperature is 15 degree celcius.

What to wear: avoid high hill shoes as they make climbing difficult.

Guides: recommended to have a guide who is familiar with the area and have made climbs before.

Security risks: none

Hotels: You will have to go in a nearby town or city( Mekele recommended) to find hotels. Please click on list of hotels in Axum for tourists or Mekele hotels for more information

Nearby attractions: Axum, Town of Yeha, Simien Mountains



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