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“African petra !”

Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela
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2 Day Tour to the Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela from Addis Ababa
Ranked #1 of 29 things to do in Lalibela
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A labyrinth of tunnels with grottoes and galleries connects 11 impressive churches built under King Lalibela out of red volcanic rock.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Lalibela is said to have seen Jerusalem and then attempted to build a new Jerusalem as his capital in response to the capture of old Jerusalem by Muslims in 1187. As such, many features have Biblical names – even the town's river is known as the River Jordan. It remained the capital of Ethiopia from the late 12th century and into the 13th century.
The first European to see these churches was the Portuguese explorer Pêro da Covilhã (1460–1526). Portuguese priest Francisco Álvares (1465–1540), who accompanied the Portuguese Ambassador on his visit to Lebna Dengel in the 1520s. His description of these structures concludes:

I weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more ... I swear by God, in Whose power I am, that all I have written is the truth.

Thank behakal k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 2, 2013

It is really amazing and inspiring place to visit. We stayed in Lalibela for 2 days. First day we spend visiting 10 rock churches, second day we took a mule ride for Esheton Maryan monastery in the mountains. The ride itself was really interesting experience, the view was also breathtaking. The monastery was nothing to special but in conclusion we loved this trip. If you have limited time, one day is enough (might be quit intensive). We had wonderful local guide Belay. He showed and took as to local places, got really good deal for mule ride. Besides that, he really took good care of us and even invited us for to try local honey wine and dance night. We strongly recommend him. E-mail: bamariw@yahoo.com Tel. +251912022031. It is important to have someone to tell the stories about churches. Although it was August (rainy season), the weather was pleasant to see the churches and the mountains were so green. If I would have other chance to come, I would choose September when you can see many flowers in the mountains.

Thank Evelina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

The experience of seeing the many different churches of Lalibela took most of the day.
The churches are all unique in there own way and it is worth getting a guide who is able to explain the various points about each church as well as the significance of the sight. (as well as guide you through the labyrinth of paths to each church)
It is quite easy to say that these churches should be in the itinerary for any trip to Ethiopia as they are simply, amazing.
The churches are all still actively in use, and upon entering you are usually greeted with a display of local people in prayer.
There are no problems taking photos in the churches, but flash is not allowed.
It is quite dark inside, so I would think that a normal point and shoot wouldn't handle the conditions to produce good quality photos.
Shoes must be removed before entering each of the churches, and hats are not allowed to be worn inside. Women do not have to wear a head covering but I felt it more appropriate to do so.
Walking between churches is not difficult, so hiking boots are not necessary. It rained while I was there and the puddles quickly form, if rain is probable, something quick drying would be an advantage.
No pictures could compare to being and seeing these wonderful churches in the flesh.

Thank CestLeVie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

This church is easily the best of all 11 churches in Lalibela. However the other ones are also very interesting to visit. Lalibela is full of culture and history. If in Ethiopia you should visit Lalibela.

Thank SKY0977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Beautiful churches our guide from the Lal Hotel was very bright, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. My family and I had a great time visiting these beautiful majestic churches!

Thank Tiffany E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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