In a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia, some 645 km from Addis Ababa, eleven medieval monolithic churches were carved out of rock. Their building is attributed to King Lalibela who set out to construct in the 12th century a ‘New Jerusalem’, after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the holy Land.
What was King Lalibela trying to create when he had the rock churches of Lalibela made?
Lalibela is best known as the king who ordered the construction of 11 monolithic stone churches found in the town today. Lalibela’s goal was to create a new Ethiopian Jerusalem, and he recreated many biblical scenes, such as the stable, out of carved rock.
Why was Lalibela built underground?
Some believe they were carved by the Knights Templar, Christian crusaders who, during the 13th Century when the churches were created, were at the height of their power. … King Lalibela built these churches around Ethiopia’s own stretch of the Jordan River, his intent being to welcome Christians to a ‘New Jerusalem’.
Who built Lalibela churches?
The churches were carved around the year 1200 by people called the Zagwe. Their king, Lalibela, is said to have traveled the 1,600 miles to Jerusalem.
What is King Lalibela best known for?
Lalibela, the best-known Zagwe emperor, ruled at the beginning of the 13th century and is known for building the monolithic rock-hewn churches at the Zagwe capital, which was later renamed for him.
What was the aim of the construction of the rock hewn church?
The eleven Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela are monolithic churches located in the Western Ethiopian Highlands near the town of Lalibela, named after the late-12th and early-13th century King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty, who commissioned the massive building project of 11 rock-hewn churches to recreate the …
Why is Lalibela unique?
Located in the Lasta district and North Wollo Zone, it is famous for its rock-cut monolithic churches. The whole of Lalibela is a large and important site for the antiquity, medieval, and post-medieval civilization of Ethiopia. To Christians, Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, and a center of pilgrimage.
Why did King Lalibela of Ethiopia wish to build a second Jerusalem?
King Gebre Meskel Lalibela wanted to build a second “Jerusalem” in Lalibela, a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia, on the grounds that the road to Jerusalem was not safe. … Lalibela is one of the most important reflections of Christianity which was introduced to the region in the fourth century.
What is meant by underground church?
The term underground church (Chinese: 地下教会; pinyin: dìxià jiàohuì) is used to refer to Chinese Catholic churches in the People’s Republic of China which have chosen not to associate with the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, they are also called loyal church (Chinese: 忠贞教会; pinyin: zhōngzhēn …
What does Lalibela mean in English?
He was given the name “Lalibela”, meaning “the bees recognise his sovereignty” in Old Agaw, due to a swarm of bees said to have surrounded him at his birth, which his mother took as a sign of his future reign as Emperor of Ethiopia.
Is Lalibela one of the wonders of the world?
The 11 churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia, are regarded as one of the wonders of the world, excavated from solid rock with an immense underground maze of tunnels and passages. … After the death of Lalibela his tomb and the city itself began to draw thousands of pilgrims.
Is Lalibela a Tigray?
Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region bordering the northern region of Tigray that is famed for its churches hewn from single lumps of rock and has been designated a U.N. World Heritage site.
What did King Ezana do?
Since then, King Ezana became the first King in Africa to receive Christianity and made his Kingdom the first Christian Kingdom in the continent. He minted coins with the sign of cross on them so as to spread his religion throughout his Kingdom and neighboring kingdoms and trading partners.
What factors brought an end to the Zagwe dynasty?
The end of the Zagwe came when Yekuno Amlak, who never personally claimed to be descendant of Dil Na’od or King Solomon, and acting under the guidance of either Saint Tekle Haymanot or Saint Iyasus Mo’a, pursued the last king of the Zagwe and killed him at the Battle of Ansata.
How old is Lalibela Ethiopia?
It’s a common scene here in Lalibela, a small town in northern Ethiopia that’s home to 11 spectacular churches carved both inside and out from a single rock some 900 years ago.