Ethiopia (April-May 2015)

6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

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To see the map below with a better resolution in another tab, click here.

To see all the waypoints in Google Earth, click here (.kmz file).

 

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I spent two nights at the Gheralta Lodge. During my full day I visited two more churches: Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham. I approached these churches by car rented at the lodge. Both lie on mountain tops requiring 40-50min foot ascents.

 

Rock towers near the site of Abuna Gebre Mikael.

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Abuna Gebre Mikael is carved into a small cliff at the top of this rocky hill.

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The foot path to the church passes on the left of this large cliff...

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...then follows the bottom of a narrow trench (photo on the left), before reaching the upper part of the hill (photo on the right).

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View over the valley and the rock towers from the flat terrain in front of the church.

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Left: from the outside the church is quite unassuming. Right: the priest opening the church′s window.

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But inside the church is stunning: the architecture is great and the paintings covering the domed ceilings and the pillars are gorgeous, with unusual blue and yellow colors. Of all the churches I have visited in Tigray, this is my favorite.

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A short coffee halt in Megab on my way to Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham.

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The church Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham lies at the top of this cliff. The foot path contours the hill on its left, then goes to the top from the back.

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Another rocky mountain seen along the way, on the top of which the church of Yohannis Maikudi is carved.

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Farm and field behind the Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham hill.

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View from the top of the cliff where Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham is carved.

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Facade of Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham.

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Floor layout of the church.

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The core of the church is quite impressive by its size, but severely damaged by humidity.

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Left: ambulatory around the core of the church; the small door at the bottom-right of the picture leads to the Abraham oratory (small circular room). Right: carved wall in the Abraham oratory.

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Sections of the trip (click on the links below to access the corresponding webpages):

-             1. Mekele to Maryam Hibeti

-             2. Maryam Hibeti to Abba Yohanni and Gabriel Wukien

-             3. Gabriel Wukien to Axum via Damo Gellila

-             4. Axum to Maryam Wukro

-             5. Maryam Wukro to Hawzen

-             6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

-             7. Hawzen to Medhane Alem Adi Kasho via Abreha we Atsbeha

 

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