Story offer: words & pictures
Location:Lalibela, Ethiopia, East Africa
Subject: unique and mesmerising complex of rock-hewn churches
Title: Deep Faith / Rock of Ages
Ethiopia is the only African country south of the Sahara with major historical sites. It is also the highest African country, centred on 2000m highlands, and one of the world’s oldest Christian countries, having adopted the faith as long ago as the 4th century. Lalibela combines all these facets -- history, landscape, faith -- in a stunning manner. Here in the mountains a great 12th century king cut a series of churches out of the living rock, astonishing feats of engineering and architecture which remain to this day.
Most of the eleven churches – monumental sculptures varied in shape and style – are still in daily use for ceremonies and worship, attended by vividly robed priests, revered by white-garbed pilgrims. Roaming this ancient labyrinth of red rock with its tunnels, passages, cliffs and ravines, its deeply spiritual rituals, its richly dressed devotees, is to enter into an ancient mystery and to be enveloped within a unique work of mankind. Astonishment, wonder and reverence rule your emotions in ever-changing sequence – this is not like anywhere else you’ve ever been.
Lalibela – a UNESCO World Heritage Site of major standing -- is an out-of-this-world experience.