From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an Empire which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia. It was a hub of trade with India and China. Formerly, it had its own alphabet and notational system, constructed great engineering works and dams which made it a self-sufficient and affluent little world. It was reckoned in the 4th century to be one of the four great powers of the ancient world.
Based in Northern Ethiopia and known to be one of the oldest settlements in the country, Axum is a place of historical significance with its origins predating the Roman Empire.
Today the visitor can see Stella; the largest single pieces of stone erected anywhere. The logistics of such a piece, how the stone was brought from the quarry and erected, is still not fully understood. The tombs and castles of kings are also worth visiting to get a fuller grasp of this mysterious and ancient city. For further education on the history of the town, visit the Axum Museum and Mariam Tsion Church which is built on the site of Ethiopia’s first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. The town is cluttered with historical intrigue, so for those with a real passion for the past, Axum will prove to be the star of your Ethiopia adventure.
For a historical tour of Ethiopia, you cannot get much more interesting than a visit to Axum. Wandering around the sites and trying to unlock the mysteries of the past here can keep history buffs and explorers alike entertained for days on end.
If you are visiting Ethiopia, a trip to Axum would certainly not disappoint the culturally and historically minded and can be a great addition to a safari holiday in the region. Its a fascinating place to visit and although most people skip this area to give more time for other areas, its ancient history makes it extremely worthwhile.