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Gondar, Ethiopia

Gondar is the imperial city of Fasilidas. The kings of Ethiopia based their power in Gondar for about two centuries. The city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire that began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas.
In Gondar, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Many picturesque ruins lie in the royal enclosure like the fairy-tale castles dating back to the 17th century. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and characterized by lime mortar style. The other place of interest is Fasilidas pool, in which pilgrims still take a plunge at the issue of Timket (Epiphany) celebrations. Debre Birhan (Trinity church) is rewarding for its magnificent murals adorning the roof and the walls of the church.

Surrounded by tin roofs, these fortresses are reminiscent of a bygone era and are fascinating to see today. You really get the sense of the history of Gondar and what it used to be from sauntering around these beautiful castles. It is well worth a visit & gives you a real insight into the country’s rich history. After the mid-19th century as the government seat was moved, the grandeur and former glory of Gondar declined, but the court intrigue & glamour of the past scandals still lingers in the air, making it one of Ethiopia’s most treasured heirlooms.

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