Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article on the incredible Church of Saint George. I was born and raised in Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) in a place called Enkulal Fabrica. I was a basketball player growing up and then I came to the United States on a sports scholarship.
When that dream came to an end because of financial decisions, I decided to find another hobby to keep me alive and going. I bought my first Canon camera on a Black Friday and started to visit different places and go hiking with my friends. I would take pictures of people, places and journeys.
That transformed me into a self-taught photographer. As I took on more adventures, I started shooting and recording my journey which led me to create a YouTube channel under the name By Nishan. Right after, I got all the support in the world and that made me realize that I was born to do it. I became one of the few young women world travelers from East Africa.
Why Ethiopia is such a Magical Country
For me Ethiopia means heroes. Heroes that fought, black intellectuals that led the country and religious leaders that contributed to the freedom of the country. It makes me feel fearless to go out and conquer the world.
I love how the Battle of Adwa not only saved Ethiopia from colonization but also raised the status of an African country to an equal partner in the world community. Here a few reasons why Ethiopia is such a special destination:
- Birth of humankind
- Ethiopia was never colonized
- It was the birthplace of coffee
- We run on our own calendar and own time!
- Over 80 languages are spoken in the country
- Addis Abada is the highest capital city in Africa
- We are known for lots of amazing vegetarian dishes
- Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa
- Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression is the hottest place on earth
- Ethiopia is home to the lowest place on the African continent, the Danakil Depression.
My Experience Visiting the Church of Saint George
I had the pleasure of visiting the Church of Saint George in 2020. I even had time to make a short video about it (check out the video below). This place is often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” and it’s easy to see why when you arrive. The king who built the church named it the second Jerasulem. It’s honestly one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited.
The people here and their way of life was so inspiring to see. They had given their lives to God and most of them live a very sacred life. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to see a church carved out of one single rock.
I took my parents with me to see the Church of Saint George too, which was another special aspect about the trip. I was constantly traveling at the time and I told them that the only way to see me was to come!
Religious Significance of the Church of Saint George
Ethiopians are a super devoted people when it comes to faith. Orthodox Christianity is the largest religion in the country and it dates back to when King Ezana first adopted the faith in the ancient Kingdom of Aksum.
The church is a vital part of our society because it gives Ethiopians identity and is a unifying factor among peoples of different languages and nationalities. The Church of Saint George holds tremendous significance for the whole Orthodox Christian community here in Ethiopia. This is a pilgrimage site that has a layout representing the holy city of Jerusalem.
Need to Know Before you Go
- Plan ahead
- Get ready to hike
- Take good care of your camera
- For booking hotels call before you fly to Lalibela
- Make sure you have enough cash to buy souvenirs
- Wear comfortable shoes and white clothing (with a head wrap for women/something to cover the hair) when you enter the churches.
- Explore the Lalibela area – the town is home to around 17,000 people and it’s a peaceful place with lots of souvenir shops. There are more churches to hike to than just the Church of Saint George too.
- Enjoy your time at the “Eighth Wonder of the World’!