The City Of Addis Ababa

      The founders named it “the new flower” (Addis Abeba) after seeing a new flower at the site of the hot springs. This was the main reason for King Menelik and his Queen consort Taitu to come down from the Entoto Hills in 1886 to the valley below. Addis is a big metropolis sprawled over an area of 21,000 hectares or about 250 sq. km. With an altitude ranging from 2200 to 2500 meters, it is the third highest capital in the world.

Africa Hall

Built and donated by the Ethiopian government, this is where the Organization of African Unity was founded in 1963. It is now the head-quarters of one of the UN’s six regional commissions and was established in 1958.

Ethnographic Museum

Located in and operated by the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of the Addis Abeba University, this is Ethiopia’s first and only ethnological museum exhibiting the physical environment and traditional artifacts of all the major ethnic groups (including costumes, jewelry, traditional household goods, farming implements, military and hunting weapons, art, musical instruments, both Christian and Islamic parchment manuscripts and icons).

Merkato

Merkato is not only Addis Abeba’s commercial center; it is the dynamo of the country’s development in trade and industry, and its real link to all the world’s business and industry. It is said that 60% of the country’s money supply is found inside Merkato at any given time. Unrivaled in Africa, Merkato is one of the largest open-air markets in the world. Although it operates throughout the week, Saturday morning is its busiest period, attracting around 50,000 buyers and sellers, both from the entire city and the surrounding countryside. When it comes to shopping, there is nothing in the world, they say, that one cannot find in Merkato. Here, bargaining is the rule.

Trinity Cathedral

Trinity Cathedral is the most ornate example of modern urban cathedrals. Built in 1941, it was dedicated to and remains the special final resting-place of the nation’s heroes and distinguished civil servants. The paintings on the ceiling are by one of the country’s major modern living artists, Ale Felege Selam, who was also the founder of the Arts School.

The National Museum

The National Museum is the home of Lucy (Dinqnesh), probably the most famous hominid skeleton in the world. She is, at over three million years, one of the oldest hominids yet discovered. Ethiopian archaeologists have recently discovered even earlier fossils pushing back the origins of humankind even further. The museum also contains an interesting collection of archaeology and artifacts from Ethiopian history, arts and cultures.

Out Side of Addis Ababa

Tiya & Adadi Mariam

An estimated 10,000 stelae (obelisks) are scattered across the south of Ethiopia, extending in a rough belt form Tiya southeast to the vicinity of Negele Borena. Little is known about the origin of these stelae or the societies that erected them. Local tradition attributes the stelae to the 15th-century Muslim leader Ahmed Gragn, but the formative findings of Professor Roger Joussaume, the only archaeologist to have worked the sites, indicates that they were erected centuries before Gragn was born, over a 400-500-year period starting in the 9th century. Approximately 50 stele fields are known in Gedeo zone, and two broad styles of stele are recognized. The older of these, probably dating to the 9th century, are the phallic stele, which are typically cylindrical in shape, and rounded at the top, with incisions that leave little room for ambiguity about what they are meant to represent. The steles appear to have marked graves, and the bodies beneath them were buried in a fetal position. The two largest stele fields in Gedea are Tutu Fela and Tututi, both of which lie within 45 minutes’ drive of Dilla. The Tututi field is made up almost exclusively of phallic stele, whereas anthropomorphic steles dominate at Tutu Fela. There are some parallels between the later stele found around Dilla and the anthropomorphic wooden grave markers of the Konso-who, interestingly, retain and oral tradition suggesting that they might have migrated to their present homeland from the eastern Rift Valley Escarpment.

Debre Libanos Monastery

Drive 110 kms north from Addis over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot. Overlooking Jema River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, the Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. Walk across a 16th Century Bridge said to have been built by Portuguese to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the gorge. Here you may see gelada monkeys—a unique grass eating primate found only in Ethiopia. We suggest a weekend trip to Debre Libanos Monastery with an overnight in the nearby and beautifully situated Ethio-German lodge. En route you can also visit the Muger gorge with the Durba Waterfall and Jemma Valley. Drive 110 kms north from Addis over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot. Overlooking Jema River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, the Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. Walk across a 16th Century Bridge said to have been built by Portuguese to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the gorge. Here you may see gelada monkeys—a unique grass eating primate found only in Ethiopia. We suggest a weekend trip to Debre Libanos Monastery with an overnight in the nearby and beautifully situated Ethio-German lodge. En route you can also visit the Muger gorge with the Durba Waterfall and Jemma Valley.

Melke Kuntre

Melka Kunture is a Palaeolithic site in Ethiopia. It is located 50 kilometers south of Addis Ababa by road, across the Awash River from the village of Melka Awash. Three waterfalls lie downstream of the bridge across the Awash here, which provides access south to Butajira.