Gondar : go & visit the Camelot of Africa in Ethiopia
Known as the “Camelot of Africa”, Gondar is a unique Ethiopian city famous for its many medieval castles, its architecture, its majestic royal city and the decoration of its churches.
If you are in Ethiopia, you are strongly advised to explore the magnificent imperial city, its magnificent castle complex and the remains of an imperial past. This city is located at more than 2200 meters above sea level on the Simiens Massif and overlooks Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia, 400 km from Addis Ababa. In addition, the site of Gondar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It also allows tourists to visit the many castle museums that showcase the last centuries of the country’s emperors.
From 1632 to 1855, Gondar was the capital of Ethiopia. It was founded by Emperor Fasiladas, who inspired the construction of the city. The city suffered many Muslim and Turkish invasions. Arts and music have an important role in the life of the city.
What to do and see in Gondar?
- Imperial City of Gondar and Fasil Ghebbi.
During your stay, you can discover the imperial city of Gondar and the fortified enclosure of Fasil Ghebbi. It is a royal compound of 7 hectares, which has 6 castles at a height of 32 m.
Among the six castles, there are:
- 1/ The castle of Fasilidas, first construction, massive and powerful
2/the slender castle of Yasou 1er
3/ the castles of Bakka and Mentouab
4/The Music Palace of David III
5/ the castle of Qusquam.
- The church of Debre Berhan Selassie
Go and see the superb paintings and murals of the Orthodox Church of Debre Berhan Selassie (Light of the Trinity). The history of the Bible is told on the walls of the church.
- Baths of Fasiledas
Direction the visit of baths of Fasiledas. The baths were reserved for the nautical exploits of the king and for religious celebrations.
There’s the annual Timkat festival at Fasil’s Pool, to be discovered. With its green, yellow and red colours, the streets of Gondar light up during the great orthodox Timkat festival.
- Wolleka (Falasha village)
Wolleka is an Ethiopian village, which has become a huge tourist attraction in Ethipia. It is located 3 km from Gondar. And in history, it is the former village of the Falasha (Ethiopian Jews). Today there are very few Jews in Wolleka, but the Jewish heritage is preserved there.
There you can visit the original houses, facades and the last bastion of the Beta-jewish tribe at the Wolleka synagogue. This village is also known for its craftsmanship.
Gorgora is a city located in northern Ethiopia. In the past, it was the capital of Ethiopia. Tourists leave to visit the port and the monastery of the city.
- photo credit : Flickr
How do I get there? Where to eat?
If you come from abroad, Gondar is served by the airport Atsé Tewodros (18 km from the city).
Gondar is within walking distance, there are great restaurants, shops and hotels in the vicinity.
Cradle of emperors and princesses between the 12th and 20th centuries, Gondar is a must-see city to visit in Ethiopia as it has marked the history of Ethiopia.