Aksum, Home of Stunning Ancient Crafts
Ethiopia’s rich and unique artistic heritages of Aksum portray a series of transcontinental cultural exchanges and developments traced back as far as the late millennium B.C. The place imbeds cross-cultural civilizations from North Africa, sub-saharan Africa and the Middle East. The historic wonders still stand in this modern day. They are estimated to have been erected around the 4th century. Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Yeha, its international fame was earned due to the enormous monolithic stelae. The Ark of Covenant was brought to the place by Menelik I, son of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon of Israel.
The gigantic monuments made from a single piece of granite of smooth gray stone stand as high as 82 feet. The obelisks resemble buildings with intricately carved cross-shaped windows, and rows of long ends dividing each story. It has a door although it does not lead into the monuments. The 108 feet long Aksum obelisk lies shattered across the ground allowing a close up view of the magnificent architectural creation. If it were still standing it would have been the tallest obelisk in the world.
Aksum is one of the places where 90% of the field has not been fully excavated to take out treasures. Here, visitors get a rare access of walking on undiscovered wealth below. The tomb is complex in its structure with larger blocks of stones comprising antechamber and inner chamber on three sides of the passage. The tomb is kept closed because archaeologists believe there is undiscovered treasure inside however the arches can clearly be viewed through the gate.
St Mary of Zion Churches
The quadrilateral old church at the southern end of Aksum remains a remarkable creation of Emperor Fasiladas, the founder of Gonder town. Inside, there are handmade murals and portrait of saints. Nearby, there is a museum which contains an impressive treasure – a collection of royal crowns, dazzling display of precious chalices, jewellery and traditional drums called kebro. Visitors can have a tour of the church excluding the small chapel which is believed to house the ark of covenant. During service and festivals, thousands of pilgrims cladded in crystal white Netela scarf leave observers spellbound.
Tombs of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel
These two tombs show sophistication and offer a splendid view of the jagged Adwa mountains. It consists of one chamber and five rooms with a door allowing close up observation of the three sarcophagi. Locals believe that inside of the tombs have undiscovered tunnel which takes to the Red Sea. The precision of the joints between the stones are unique artistic creations.
Most of the best hotels and restaurants are located at the heart of the town offering a variety of local and international dishes giving a holiday of special northern treat. The traditional songs and hospitality of the society is particular of the place. Book now atJovago to have an adventure of a lifetime enjoying best negotiated rates.
For visitors who enjoy shopping for souvenirs and clothing, Saturday is the best day. In the colourful and crowded markets, traditional cooking pottery, cultural dresses, bags and baskets can be found at a good price. Cotton clothes, shoes, accessories, grains, butter, pots, pans are available for sale every week.
Aksum is the safest place to visit without worrying about security issues. Residents are welcoming and friendly offering you the best of the warm town.
Observing camels and their versatile way of life is full of adventure. Just do not get so close to avoid bit or spit.
+251 – visitors with identification card can purchase SIM cards from shops to make local and international calls.
Aksum has an airport but if you enjoy road trip comfortable buses also take you there without making you feel the 12 hour long ride allowing you to see neighbouring small towns on the way.
Ethiopian birr, dollars and euros are accepted at all hotels. State and private banks convert foreign currency into local currency easing transaction. Exchange rates can be accessed at