(Day 29) Day of Leisure at Lalibela – 28 April 2011

Distance for the day    – 0 km                  Odometer – 9 605 km
Hours on the Bike        – 00:00
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 77 327.00

We decided today to visit some of the ancient churches of Lalibela. This is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, second only to Aksum, and is a centre of pilgrimage for much of the country. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. Lalibela was intended to be a New Jerusalem in response to the capture of Jerusalem by Muslims, and many of its historic buildings take their name and layout from buildings in Jerusalem.

An ancient world, including 11 magnificent, medieval, rock-hewn churches, dimly lit passageways, hidden crypts and grotto’s, was carved into the red volcanic rock underlying this remote Ethiopian town almost a millennia ago by the Zagwe dynasty.

Though the dating of the churches is not well established, most are thought to have been built during the reign of King Lalibela, namely during the 12th and 13th centuries. There are 13 churches, assembled in four groups: (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Typical Lalibela house on steep mountain slopes.


One of eleven churches carved out of stone.


Churches are linked with narrow paths.


Inside one of the churches.


Priest in church.


entrance to one of the churches.


Whole church carved out of solid volcanic rock.


One of the well-preserved churches.


Inside a church with a Priest.


A local Bar.


Richard thought it was a Bar that sold Beer.


These structures are incredible to see and no surprise that they are considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. Each church had a priest sitting with his traditional clothes, busy reading from a bible. Locals would bring any type of plastic container with water to be blessed and will return home with Holy water to cure illnesses and give good health and prolong life.

Late afternoon at Lalibela.


Another breathtaking Sunset.


It is definitely worth a visit and we enjoyed the stay at Mountain View a lot. Tomorrow we will continue north towards Axum.


4 responses

  1. montyme

    Been away for the last two nights and have so missed my daily updates. So pleased to be home and able to get my daily “fix”. The photo’s are awe inspiring. You are truly having a wonderful trip – cannot wait to hear about everything first hand … Rich hope you will not be sick of telling everyone everything by the time we finally get to catch up with you again. Loved the photo of you at Richard’s Bar Ber!!! Stay safe and happy. Jane and family

    PS I agree with Oom Jan … would love the reports to continue. Who knows, maybe the Book of Memoirs won’t be far behind!!!

    April 30, 2011 at 01:46

  2. Absolutely stunning. What a wonderful place to remember and something of value to be added to the personal memory file.
    Good to read that things are running well. I know that you will not agree with me at this moment, but for my sake I would like the tour and reports to continue for another at least six months. Looking forward the next.

    Mooi loop.

    Oom Jan

    April 29, 2011 at 09:43

  3. Hi Guys.Things seem to be a little more hostile.Hope the bikes hold up till Cairo.Vasbyt all of you.Nearly there.Luke,Adele,Elfie,Hayley

    April 29, 2011 at 07:38

  4. Very interesting. We visited Jersalem last month and was also fascinated by the Ethiopan Monestry at Golgotha. Ethiopian priests were also sitting everywhere.
    Beautiful scenery & sunsets in Ethiopia. You guys are very privileged to see all this.
    Dikke kus from Amsterdam!

    April 28, 2011 at 21:59

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