Emperor Lalibela

Lalibela, a new King from a new dynasty build a new holy capital. Today Emperor Lalibela’s legacy lives on in the physical splendor of the Rock churches and their traditions of their guardian priests.

Like for example here is one traditional quote from the priests of Lalibela Rock Churches:

My blessed people and congregation, Churches without no mud, no wood and no cement you can not find anything in the rest of the world. You are all blessed because you are here this place was built by God.

Every year in the day of St. George peregrines gather to celebrate a belief that has endured here for 16 centuries. These people of Ethiopia belief God brought the Arc of Covenant and the template of the Ten Commandments to their lands. On holy days today priests carry on their heads the replicates of the templates. The people of Ethiopia have been carving churches from mountains for thousands of years. The eleven churches of Lalibela symbolizes that achievement to the rest of the world. The King Lalibela became legend and his stories are still told by the monks.

There is a city called by Roha, where lived a man to one of the most noble families. It was one the richest city with gold, silver, diamonds, precious stones, servants, and maids. He had a son who mysteriously named Lalibela . A bit of the stories told by the monks of Lalibela

In the legends the King Lalibela’s greatness was recognized in his birth a storm of bees descended on his opt as if around honey. It was his mother who named him Lalibela which means the bees recognized him as a King. Bur according to the legends those were not bodily bees but angels who took bee forms to announce his reign. God sent one of his angels to bring Lalibela to heavens to show him the most holy of Churches. Lalibela, the story goes, ordered tools to carve temples like those he had seen in heaven. His craftsmen changed the mountain side into a New Jerusalem. The work took 24 years to carve out the inside. All carved without woods for the windows, all made from a living rock.

They were not the grandest of buildings of their times; these churches were unique in their construction. They embody the typical ideals of the century to remodel nature to match a vision. But whilst priests tell of King Lalibela’s spirituality he had a more practical purpose, a political program to proclaim his legitimacy as the air of King Solomon of Israel. With an army of 60,000 King Lalibela lounged campaigns to extend his rule. His Christian empire filled the highlands and get rich on the trade of red sea. He built churches on the top of the highland hills and kept the surrounding Muslims at edge. Today Lalibela is seen as a saint. He and his followers carved these breath taking churches from the rock of East African landscape.
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About Daniel Eshetu

Daniel Eshetu is CEO of Habesha Entertainment, blogger and medical student at Black Lion Hospital Addis Ababa. Follow @danieleshetu99
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