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Introducing Bahir Dar

Some people like to describe Bahir Dar as the Ethiopian Riviera. The moniker sounds strange, but when you pull into town and see the wide streets shaded by palm trees and sweeping views across Lake Tana’s shimmering blue waters, you’ll understand.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, various temporary Ethiopian capitals were established in the vicinity of Lake Tana. It was here that Jesuits attempted, with disastrous consequences, to impose Catholicism on the Ethiopian people. One moss-covered Jesuit building, which was built by the well-known Spanish missionary Pedro Páez, can still be seen today in the compound of St George’s monastery.

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