A HISTORICAL CITY WITH A MAJESTIC VIBE
Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, but it was not always so. Until about a century and a half ago, the country had a different capital: Gondar. About a 12-hour drive from Addis Ababa, nestled between hills and towering trees, you will find this historic city with a majestic vibe. The shining jewel of Gondar is the castle complex of King Fasiladas. These castles are still so intact that it seems like stepping straight back in time. After all his predecessors who roamed the country as nomads, King Fasiladas was the first emperor who decided to settle down in one place. And Gondar was the chosen place for that. You can visit not only his castles, but also his bath houses. If you’re in Gondar in January, you’re in luck! Because Gondar is the place to be during the Timkat festival. Masses of people from all over the country travel to the Fasiladas baths in Gondar to celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. Dancing and singing, the crowd jumps through the streets surrounding the baths. An experience never to forget!
Whether you want to escape the crowds during the Timkat festival, or just want to have a drink and catch a beautiful sunset year-round: it’s all possible at Goa Hotel. In a Bajaj, the Ethiopian tuk-tuk (a kind of three-wheeler with a roaring engine), you ride up a hill where you can sip a cold locally-brewed Dashen beer with an amazing view.
But Gondar has many more hidden gems! Hidden in small streets in the city centre that are hard to find, you can find the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, one of the most beautiful churches in Ethiopia. From the outside, this church looks quite inconspicuous, but when you step inside… We leave that a mystery for the traveller to discover for himself!