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Rock-hewn Churches

The most spectacular views & the long Christian tradition

There are hundreds of rock-hewn churches over the mountains of Tigray. The rock churches are found in sandstone escarpments; stone-built villages and cave churches in Gheralta, Timben, Hawezien, Atsibidera, GentaAfeshum, and Wukro and in many other places scattered unevenly. They vary from the modifications that roughly hewn out, beautifully elaborate wall murals and they are hidden in valleys, cliff faces and indeed, mountaintops.

They predate Lalibela to 4th c even more. The town of Hawizen is one of the bases exploring these churches in any direction. Some of them are found in the scenery of mountains, difficult ascent; others are famous for their stone workmanship, ancient paintings, and manuscripts.

Considerably, some of the most numerous clusters of churches are carved into the rocky face of the mountains in the Gerhalta area, which lies to the south of Horizon. Such great churches like Abuna Yemata, Mariam Korkor, Daniel Korkor, DebreTsion, Yohannes Maequddi, AbrahaweAtsebha, Abuna Gebre Michael, and Silasse Degum are in the very heart of this cliff. This group includes some of the most stunningly situated churches anywhere in Ethiopia.

Gheralta Mountains.


Gheralta Mountains and the cliffs where Abuna Yemata is located.