Africa Hall

Notable Building in Addis Ababa

Image by Frances Linzee Gordon Getty Images

Built in 1961 by Emperor Haile Selassie, Africa Hall (near Meskal Sq) is the seat of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The Italian-designed building isn’t very interesting, apart from the friezelike motifs that represent traditional Ethiopian shamma (shawl) borders. It’s well worth a visit, but this is only possible by prior appointment (call the number above). You’ll need to bring your passport and they generally prefer it if you visit as part of a group.

Of greatest interest is 'Africa: Past, Present and Future', a monumental stained-glass window by the artist Afewerk Tekle. Measuring 150 sq m, it fills one entire wall and is one of the biggest stained-glass windows in the world. During some hours of the day, the white marble floor of the foyer is flooded with colour.