Ethiopia (April-May 2015)

6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

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To see all the waypoints in Google Earth, click here (.kmz file).



I spent two nights at the Gheralta Lodge. During my full day I visited two more churches: Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham. I approached these churches by car rented at the lodge. Both lie on mountain tops requiring 40-50min foot ascents.


Rock towers near the site of Abuna Gebre Mikael.


Abuna Gebre Mikael is carved into a small cliff at the top of this rocky hill.


The foot path to the church passes on the left of this large cliff...



...then follows the bottom of a narrow trench (photo on the left), before reaching the upper part of the hill (photo on the right).


View over the valley and the rock towers from the flat terrain in front of the church.


Left: from the outside the church is quite unassuming. Right: the priest opening the church′s window.


But inside the church is stunning: the architecture is great and the paintings covering the domed ceilings and the pillars are gorgeous, with unusual blue and yellow colors. Of all the churches I have visited in Tigray, this is my favorite.






A short coffee halt in Megab on my way to Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham.


The church Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham lies at the top of this cliff. The foot path contours the hill on its left, then goes to the top from the back.


Another rocky mountain seen along the way, on the top of which the church of Yohannis Maikudi is carved.


Farm and field behind the Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham hill.


View from the top of the cliff where Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham is carved.


Facade of Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham.


Floor layout of the church.


The core of the church is quite impressive by its size, but severely damaged by humidity.



Left: ambulatory around the core of the church; the small door at the bottom-right of the picture leads to the Abraham oratory (small circular room). Right: carved wall in the Abraham oratory.


Sections of the trip (click on the links below to access the corresponding webpages):

-             1. Mekele to Maryam Hibeti

-             2. Maryam Hibeti to Abba Yohanni and Gabriel Wukien

-             3. Gabriel Wukien to Axum via Damo Gellila

-             4. Axum to Maryam Wukro

-             5. Maryam Wukro to Hawzen

-             6. Abuna Gebre Mikael and Debre Tsion Abuna Abraham

-             7. Hawzen to Medhane Alem Adi Kasho via Abreha we Atsbeha


Return to main Ethiopia April-May 2015 webpage