Since recorded history, Lalibela has been renowned for its rock churches that adorn the mountainous side of the valley. The huge rock formations are unbelievably entirely man made and was dubbed as the “New Jerusalem” by travellers that have witnessed the majestic mountains of Lalibela. This is a legend that has inspired various artists and amazed countless people who are able to conjure the implications of the stone churches.
This landmark is a testimony of the deep spirituality of its people. The villagers have formed these rock-hewn churches from hook-plough. The churches are numerous, including various shrines that are grouped into two categories. The architecture and building of these monuments shows a fairly high standard of engineering and architectural knowledge possessed by the people of Lalibela. The heavy rains the region experiences have forced the engineers to design an ingenious system of trenches that drain rainwater to the Jordan River.
The outside is only the beginning, however. The interior of these churches are adorned with spectacular stone structures of crucifixes and carefully carved pillars. Pilgrimages are regularly done to these churches by devout Christians. Others visit these monuments just to admire and relinquish the beauty that have resulted from the ingenuity of the people of Lalibela.
The rock churches are a composite of early eastern Mediterranean Christianity and Axumite tradition. But for those to see firsthand these rock churches would believe that this is a unique new creation of early Christian art in Ethiopian soil. Treat yourself and your family to a relaxing getaway to the valley of Lalibela for an extraordinary religious experience.