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“Worth a visit - But get a guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Fasil Ghebbi

Fasil Ghebbi
Ranked #3 of 17 things to do in Gonder
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A royal fortress-city dating back to the 16th-17th centuries demonstrates Hindu, Arabic and baroque influences.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Worth a visit - But get a guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

We visited and got a guide and were VERY happy we did, otherwise the well preserved ruins would have been far less interesting...

We had to negotiate with an "association representative" to be able to get a guide for the posted price... a little odd... but the guide we got was well worth it. So much so that I am happy to recommend him. His name was Haile and you can contact him at ethio_guide at yahoo dot com
or his phone number is 0918817887
Haile's English was near perfect and there was not a question that he could not answer.

The posted price for all 3 sites for his services is 200 Birr, but I bet if you contacted him and asked him to pick you up from the hotel you would only have to pay him a touch more

We used him for not only the Castle complex, but the main Church and the Fasiladas Bath. All which are VERY much worth a visit. Haile (our guide) also organized a tuk-tuk to drive us between the sites and wait for us when we were done. This cost us 100 Birr and was well worth it.

We liked him so much that we treated him to a coffee at the end of our visit - which the tuk-tuk then took us to.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank davidpope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 reviews from our community

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Gig Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amazing Historical Site”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2013

Visitors are able to walk around and through these castles. This is something you don't want to miss. Go in the morning when it's cool or better yet, the afternoon around 3:00 when the sun is just right for photos

Visited January 2013
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
122 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2013

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a walled enclosure of six palaces, as well as churches and other buildings (including a lion enclosure) built by a series of Ethiopian emperors in the 16th-17th centuries. It is a remarkable oasis in the midst of Gondar and should not be missed. You can hire a local guide for a nominal fee at the gate; our guide was most knowledgable and enhanced the experience for us. The most impressive and largest palace in the compound was built by Emperor Fasilidas in the 1600s, but subsequent emperors built additional palaces, including one that (according to our guide) was helpfully plastered by the Italians and now looks more European than Ethiopian to me. The final palace, built by Empress Mentewab, is much different in design from the rest. It is definitely worthwhile to go around here with your guide, then do another ramble around on your own to take pictures. The compound is a labyrinth of old buildings and is highly photogenic.

Visited December 2012
Thank DivineMissMaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
118 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Fantastic Site”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

Unfortunately the Italian did not make any good to the site by replacing some parts with 40's concrete, but after the UNESCO led restauration this site is a jewel and worth a visit. Book a Hotel Closeby to enjoy the views during the night

Visited December 2012
Thank pinkilly2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Impressive Castles - shouldn't be missed!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

Gondar is nicknamed "The Camelot of Africa" due to the presence of a group of royal castles.

Many picturesque ruins in the Royal Enclosure, from which the Emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides castle, Iyasu's Palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Mentewab's Castle, a chancellery, library and three churches.

It is really impressive and with a knowledgable tour guide you will get most out of this visit. the castles are well preserved, but without a guide you will only get to see this attraction but you will miss out on the historical details behind it as no guide book will give you all the information (and there are no written explanations on the compound). If you are looking for a good tour guide, I would like to recommend Charli (+251 92 025 5520 or www.facebook.com/chalachew.bantiwalu).

Visited November 2012
Thank manusessler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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