Gondar

The elegant city of Gondar, was founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635. It is famous for its many medieval period castles, and the design and decoration of its churches.

An extensive compound in Gondar’s center contains the massive ruins of a group of impressive castles like some African Camelot. The battlements and towers capture images of gracious noblemen on horseback and of ceremonies laden with display and honor.

The oldest and most impressive of Gondor’s many imperial structures is the palace of Emperor Fasilides, said to have been built by an Indian architect. There are also numerous other fascinating historical buildings and relics to be seen in the area.

Debre Berhan Selassie, in particular, represents a masterpiece of the Gondarene School of art. This finest Gondarene church was built during the reign of Emperor Iyasu ( 1682-1706), and was never destroyed. It is said that when the Dervishes tried to burn it in 1881, they were attacked and dispersed by bees. The inside walls of the front room are covered with paintings on cloth, stuck to the surface. The ceiling is built with thick beams and decorated with winged angel heads looking down. The wall paintings depict sites from the life of Christ, Mary, the Saints, the Trinity, and others. The unique murals are fascinating and have stood the test of time for centuries.