Bet Abba Libanos
Bet Abba Libanos is hewn into a rock face and is unique among Lalibela’s churches in that it’s a hypogeous church. In English, that...
Reached via a series of trenches and tunnels (one is long, narrow and pitch-black) that starts from Bet Gabriel- Rufael, this church may...
Freestanding and monolithic, Bet Amanuel is Lalibela’s most finely carved church. Some have suggested it was the royal family’s private...
Bet Gabriel-Rufael information
Its entrance flanked to the west by a sloping sliver of hewn rock known as the ‘Way to Heaven’, this imposing twin-church marks the main entrance to the southeastern group. Unlike most Lalibela churches its entrance is at the top and it’s accessed by a small walkway, high over the moat-like trench below. This, along with its curious, irregular floor plan and non-east-west orientation, has led scholars to propose that Bet Gabriel-Rufael may have been a fortified palace for Aksumite royalty as early as the 7th century.
The entrance takes you into Bet Gabriel and then another doorway accesses Bet Rufael. Although the section of Bet Rufael’s roof that collapsed has been rebuilt, services only take place in Bet Gabriel. Once inside the surprisingly small complex you’ll realise its monumental facade was its most interesting feature.