Ethiopian ancient monasteries are usually located in remote places far from the easily accessible locations. Most are located up in the mountains. It takes determination and love of adventure to go and explore this magnificent ancient creations. The constructions are intentionally made far out from central and main cities so that it can create peace and solitude to the priests.
If you wish to explore these places it requires to climb through ropeways and climbing challenging rocks. Despite the hardship to climb up the ancient treasures you will see the churches paintings and treasures which makes it all well worth it. One destination which is a must go is Saddique Amba Monastery. It’s located in between the massive Simien Mountains. The all-inclusive monastery is far away from everything allowing travelers to enjoy a refreshing air, surrounding attractions and of course the wild lives up-close.
It requires two hours of trekking from the famous land mark at the mountain, Simien Lodge. To date only few travelers have made it to the monastery due to fear of sheer drop rocks and challenging trekking to reach to the monastery. The monastery was erected back in 1640 by the monk named Welde Saddique who wanted to create solitude and peaceful prayer place.
Legend has it that during the communist regime of Ethiopia most of the church precious treasures were stolen and never recovered. However it did not make the church any less important. The lifestyle of the Monks, the church paintings and the surround attractions are breathtaking.
The inner temple is very restrictive the only one who have access to it is the highest priest. But do not get disappointed because you have made it through to one of the temples which rarely hosts visitors. The priests are hospitable and charming telling you everything about the temple and its magnificent history. . The mountain park is full of animals creating access to the wild lives who roam around freely at their natural habitat. The park is preserved as one of the national parks lodging several endemic wild lives that are only found in Ethiopia.
Perched along the mountain’s ledge, a young Ethiopian Orthodox monk overlooks the vast Simien Mountains — known as the “Chess pieces of God.” (photo: Selamta magazine)
If you just love to admire ancient architectures and churches there are several places to explore from near the mountain and it’s allowed to go inside. The ancient architectures of the country portrayed at Lalibela and Gondar churches hewn from gigantic rocks within the earth are few of globally registered heritages that will take your exploration to the next level. The best part is this once allow you to get inside and explore the UNESCO registered global treasures.
This spectacular region has been inhibited by farmer villagers since 2,000 years ago. They live near the spiky mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices. Travel to this historical place offers a rare opportunity to climb some of Africa’s highest peaks including at Ras Dashen (4620m), Buyit Ras (3250m), Bwahit (4430m) as well as explore the ground churches.