One of Ethiopia’s most important centres of pilgrimage set in the mountainous landscape of the region of Lasta, at an altitude of 2,630 m, Lalibela is famed for its rock-hewn churches, some in excess of 10m high. These are carved below ground level and accessed by trenches and courtyards, flanked by hermit cells also carved into the surrounding rock and connected by tunnels and passages.
Early in the morning, before the sun has fully risen, it is an ethereal experience to stand amongst the congregation and listen to the drumbeats and gentle chants. The medieval paintings on the walls and ceilings have remarkably survived, and these churches, unique in shape and size are an awesome sight.
In the surrounding rugged hills and cliffs of Lalibela, there are also many other rock-hewn churches that can be reached by trekking or on horseback. These remote churches are an amazing sight and the hike or horse ride will be an adventure you can remember forever.