We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Unique Church”
Review of Adadi Mariam

Adadi Mariam
Ranked #12 of 69 things to do in Addis Ababa
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Unique Church”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

UNESCO -- " This rock-hewn church is a 600-year-old sanctuary in the building tradition of the northern part of Ethiopia, and marks the advent of Christianity in the southern part of Adadi Mariam, badly damaged by time, has been strengthened and restored with the aid of Switzerland.
Adadi Mariam is a subterranean rock-hewn church similar to those of Lalibela. This church is unique as it is the southern-most church of its type, and stands alone – no other rock-hewn churches are in the area. It has been surmised that King Lalibela ordered the construction of Adida Mariam for his visit to southern Ethiopia. The site dates to the 13th century, but is still an active site of worship. While it dates to around the same time as the Tiya stelae, and is only ~30km north of them, Adadi Mariam provides a strong contrast to the pagan-like aura at Tiya."

No, it is not kept well. But amazing short journey from Addis Ababa, specially since it was winter time, we got tired of the colour green. Wonderful landscape and people. If you are planning on going to Adadi mariam, make sure to visit Tiya stelae which is only 30Km away. You will be surprised how you got so close to a history that dates back when back like this one without a glass window between you and the stelae. Very sad, it's NOT protected at all, I could have picked a piece and brought it home if I wanted too. If you have limited time in addis, I will pass it since there are many other important sites you can go to, but if you have time, it's a place to visit. Love the green country!

Visited November 2012
2 Thank Selam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Adadi Mariam was not what I thought it would be. I've imagined something else all together. Not a place that I would have opted to visit.

Visited July 2013
Thank Retishia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Must see but a little unkempt”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

These rock hewn churches have to be seen to be believed. This one is extrememly overgrown - in fact I didn't realise we were upon it until the guide pointed down and I could see windows and doors carved into the rock! It is still a working church and to think it was carved out when Notre Dame was being built is amazing!

Visited October 2012
5 Thank smackinlay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“worthwhile day tour from Addis Ababa”
Reviewed August 26, 2011

Adadi Mariam rock hewn church is one of three sites on a short tour 90km from Addis Ababa. Five of us bought the tour from our hotel, cost $71/person, including a good box lunch. I was going on to Lalibela, to see churches there, and this was a spontaneous add-on and was delighted with the experience. The church is small, used regularly by local people, not a popular tourist site, and very natural looking, as my photos show. An excellent contrast to churches at Lalibela. It is not grandeur, but real, and spiritual. We also stopped at Tiya, a UNESCO site of prehistoric stele. We had coffee with locals at a roadside cafe. An excellent way to spend a day adjusting to jet lag.

Visited July 2011
13 Thank Sharon59801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Adadi Mariam also viewed

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Been to Adadi Mariam? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing