Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gondar - The City Fortress

The first stop on our tour was Gondar a fortress-city that was the residence of the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides and his successors.  King Fasilidas settled in Gondar and established it as a permanent capital in 1636.  The city functioned as the centre of the Ethiopian government until 1864.  In the morning we visited the Debre Birhan Selassie Church famous for its examples of sacred art. The church was built in the 17th century by emperor Yasu II.

Then in the afternoon we visited the palace compound to explore the castles, palaces, and library of the emperors.  The main castle has huge towers and walls, resembling a piece of medieval Europe transported to Ethiopia.  

We also visited a two storey pavilion which was a bathing palace associated with Emperor Fasilidas. As fascinating as the building were the tangled tree roots growing down the walls of the bathing pool.

Gondar was also the place where we were introduced to tuk tuks, a motorized version of the traditional rickshaw.  Perfect for three we hired these to scoot about town.  David quickly learned to bargain for an appropriate rate and then Dad and I would scramble in for a sometimes hair-raising ride.  As we've said before no need for amusement parks in Africa - just take public transport.

1 comment:

  1. great photos, and I can just imagine the tuk tuk journeys!