Last weekend Andreas and I took an overnight trip to Gonder (also spelled Gondar) in northwestern Ethiopia. Alekka had already visited Gonder on a school trip so she opted to stay home and work on her Extended Essay.
Gonder was the capital of the Ethiopian empire from 1635 to 1855. The main sightseeing attraction is the Royal Enclosure, where Emperor Fasilidas built the first and largest of the city’s castles. His successors built a series of smaller castles and other structures nearby in the same compound.
Another impressive sight is the late 18th century church of Debre Birhan Selassie. The church is completely covered inside with paintings of saints, martyrs, and the Virgin Mary. This is where you find the famous angel face ceiling. Dervishes from Sudan destroyed almost all of Gonder’s churches in the 1880s but this one survived because a swarm of bees chased away the invaders.
We also visited Fasilidas’ Bath, a large deep pool with a palace in the middle of it. The pool is empty most of the year, but they fill it for the local Timket celebration in January.
More Gonder photos coming in the next post.