Ethiopia: Historical Wonders of Entoto

Entoto, an ancient area in the northern part of Addis Ababa hosts a number of historical relics of the country. The area carries the Ethiopian history since the late 13th century. It comprises the Entoto Menelik II Palace, Entoto St. Mary Church, Entoto St. Raguel Church, Empress Taitu home, Emperor Dawit cave, the place where king Menelik-II and Etege Taitu‘s wedding was held.

The two churches (St Mary and St Raguel) have a museum each with historical heritages.

According to documents and experts, the political history of Entoto started during the reign of Emperor Yekuno Amlak in the late 13th century. According to Entoto Raguel Church Museum tour guide Deacon Yohannes Woldegiorgis, Entoto area’s political history began during the era of Emperor Yekuno Amlak in 1270’s as he used it as his second palace next to his main palace in Wollo.

After Yekuno Amlak, Entoto’s political role was mainly raised during the era of Emperor Dawit, father of Emperor Zerayacob, since 1378. When he made his palace at Entoto, Emperor Dawit built two caves from single rock to put his precious objects like gold, silver and other tools, the tour guide told The Ethiopian Herald.

The two caves were built seven hundred years ago. The first cave has three parts and separated from single rock using traditional tools. In the first cave it has a paint more than 135 years old painted by Ethiopians. According to the tour guide the caves are cold in day time and hot at night time.

According to Deacon Yohannes the process of importing the true cross which is found currently in Geshen was started by Emperor Dawit even though it was finalized by his son Emperor Zerayaecob. At this time, Emperor Dawit went to Egypt to facilitate the process and he used the cave to protect his precious tools from theft. The cave is now open for tourists.

After Emperor Dawit, his son Zerayaecob changed his palace from Entoto to Debreberhan which served as the dynasty’s capital until the reign of Emperor Libnedingle. In 1515 Emperor Libnedingle became a king and again made his palace in Entoto. In 1534 when Gragn Ahmed came to the place through war with Emperor Libnedingle he burned the palace. Gragn Ahmed made the place war camp and he changed the name Entoto to Dildila for five years. After Gragn Ahmed left the place, King Minas, Libnedingle’s son made his palace in the area for seven years, Yohannes said.

Read more at: Ethiopian Herald