Gonder Travel Guide

  • Alem Seghed Fasils Castle
    Alem Seghed Fasils Castle
    by NedHopkins
  • Fasilides Castle
    Fasilides Castle
    by NedHopkins
  • General View
    General View
    by NedHopkins

Gonder Things to Do

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    St Michael decorated for timkat 2 more images

    by NedHopkins Updated May 8, 2013

    In 2011 I saw only two of the several famous Gonder churches, St George and St Michael -- and was allowed inside only St Michael.

    In 2012 I visited the UNESCO "world heritage" Debre Birhan Selassie church. (My photos would not load.)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Festivals
    • Seniors

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    General View 2 more images

    by NedHopkins Written May 8, 2013

    Gonder was Ethiopia's capital from the mid-17th to the mid-19th centuries. Prior to that time the monarchs had had no fixed capital, but had moved from place to place usually each year. Once settled in Gondar, the rulers built castles and other structures -- a banquet hall, churches -- in the "royal enclosure." That compound is what causes some to call Gonder "the Camelot of Africa."

    The buildings were damaged during the Muslim attacks of the mid-19th century (after the capital had been moved to Addis Ababa) and again during the Italian occupation of 1936-40. The Italians located their military headquarters in the Enclosure; that led to the British bombing of first and grandest of the castles, that of King (or Emperor) Fasilides.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    A running troop

    by NedHopkins Updated Feb 24, 2011

    As a procession of church dignitaries was coming down a hill toward the main street, groups of boys and young men -- 20 to 40 at a time -- ran up and down the street, waving sticks and chanting something. (My guide said only that their words were "religious." I might have guessed that.)

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Religious Travel
    • Festivals

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