Around 1071 AD, a powerful Christian king Yemrehane Kirstos has ruled over the highlands of Ethiopia. Some time during his reign, story has it that the king was lead by a vision to build a church within a mountain cave in the highlands. Yemerehane kirstos church, the biggest symbol of the kingdom's wisdom, still stands and attracts Ethiopians from every part of the country.

a church within a cave in the islands in ethiopiaYemerehane kiristos church from the outsideyemerehane kiristos church floating on a lake

It is not the fact that the church is built in a cave that makes Yemrhane Kiristos unique. The church was built on a lake going through the cave. With a unique technique, the church was built to float on to the lake. Although the lake has dried out through time there are still holes around the church where monks used to get water, considered holy, out from.

The inside of the church is as fascinating as the outside, with every inch of the wall filled with beautiful carved biblical paintings.

 the inside walls of yemerehane kiristos church


Information on how to visit Yemerehane Kirstos

Modes of transportation: A 4 hours drive from Lalibela.

Temperature: average temperature is 25 degree celcius.

What to wear: anything; avoid wearing shoes with hills for better comfort; wearing a hat could be useful.

Guides: A guide who knows the area is recommended

Security risks: none

Hotels: You will have to book a hotel in neighboring towns or cities to visit the church. Click on lists of hotels in Lalibela

Nearby attractions: Lalibela



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