Holy Trinity Cathedral
Tomb of Sylvia Pankhurst
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Holy Trinity Cathedral information
Off Niger St, this massive and ornate cathedral is the second-most important place of worship in Ethiopia (ranking behind the Old Church of St Mary of Zion in Aksum). It’s also the celebrated final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife Empress Menen Asfaw. Their massive Aksumite-style granite tombs sit inside and are a sight indeed.
The cathedral’s exterior, with its large copper dome, spindly pinnacles, numerous statues and flamboyant mixture of international styles, provides an interesting and sometimes poignant glimpse into many historical episodes of Ethiopia’s history.
Inside, there are some grand murals, the most notable being Afewerk Tekle’s depiction of the Holy Trinity, with Matthew (man), Mark (lion), Luke (cow) and John (dove) peering through the clouds. There are also some brilliant stained-glass windows and two beautifully carved imperial thrones, each made of white ebony, ivory and marble.
The entrance fee also includes admission to a small but impressive museum of ecclesiastical artefacts.
To the south of the cathedral is the memorial and graves of the ministers killed by the Derg for opposing them in 1974. Due to the prime minister’s compound being behind this memorial, photographs are strictly forbidden.
The churchyard also hosts the graves of many patriots who died fighting the Italian occupation, including the great Resistance fighter Ras Imru. To the west of the cathedral is the tomb of the famous British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst. Sylvia was one of the very few people outside Ethiopia who protested Italy’s occupation; she moved to Addis Ababa in 1956.
Purchase tickets at the administration office 20m west of the main gate. Self-appointed guides charge Birr10 to Birr15 per person.