Axum & its surrounds

Axum & its surrounds

The legacy of the queen of Sheba lies just below the shifting sands, and hewn churches out of the sheer rock attract wide-eyed tourists. the African nations historic route begins in the ancient city of Axum .which date to about 100 B.C the capital city was the first place In Ethiopia to adopt a new religion Christianity. According to the Old Testament, the queen of Sheba was born in Axum but traveled to Israel to meet King Solomon .they had a son named Menelik, who later become the first emperor of Ethiopia. Menelik brought the original arc, which once housed the ten commandments .remains well hidden in Axum .it is guarded by a selected group of monks, whose sole commitment is to protect the sacred vessel.

Axum is also known for its massive, towering sculptures that are more than two thousand years old .their significance is still under investigation by archaeologists. Ethiopia oldest city, Axum dates back some 2,000 years to when it was the hub of the Axum empire .the queen of Sheba made it her capital 1,000 years before Christ. The Ethiopian Orthodox church was founded here in the fourth century .made of single blocks of granite, the tallest stood over 33 meters high – the largest monolith in the world. The biggest now standing is 23 meters high.

The 1,700 years old Axum obelisk has arrived back to Ethiopia, 68 years after it was looted by Italian fascists. seized back in 1937 by Italian troops, it was taken to Rome where it remained .the 16th century church of St Mary of Zion is the holiest Christian sanctuary in Ethiopia, and Ethiopia believe that the church house the arc of covenant containing the tables on which Moses wrote the ten commandments.  

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