Attractions

Top Choice Archaeological Site in Aksum

Northern Stelae Field

Despite the dizzying grandeur of the numerous rock needles reaching for the stars, it’s what’s under your feet here that’s most important. Amazingly, about 90% of the field hasn’t yet been dug, so no matter where yo…
Top Choice Monastery in Aksum

Abba Pentalewon

High above Aksum, on top of a tall, narrow peak, is Abba Pentalewon monastery. Tradition states it was built by Abba Pentalewon, one of the Nine Saints and a man who is said to have prayed nonstop for 40 years, and …
Top Choice Landmark in Aksum

Ark of the Covenant Chapel

In between the old and new St Mary of Zion churches is the real reason for most people’s devotion: a tiny, carefully guarded chapel that houses what most Ethiopians believe is the legendary Ark of the Covenant. Don’…
Top Choice Church in Aksum

St Mary of Zion Churches Complex

Though religions have come and gone, Aksum has always remained a holy city – welcome to the centre of the universe for Christian Ethiopians. A church of some form has stood here since the earliest days of Ethiopian …
Top Choice Church in Aksum

Arabtu Ensessa Church

The ‘Four Beasts’ Church, named after the writers of the Biblical Gospels, was rebuilt in the 1950s and is worth a look for the wonderful murals (most modern, but a few old) covering nearly every centimetre of the i…
Hill in Aksum

Gobodura Hill

A site known as Wuchate Golo is one of Aksum's four ancient quarries, the birthplace of the famous stelae. Several stelae (all unmarked) were almost completely freed from the rock, but then abandoned. Just as intere…
Church in Aksum

Old Church of St Mary of Zion

The rectangular, men-only old church at the southern end of the complex of churches here is a remarkable example of traditional architecture built by the Emperor Fasiladas, the founder of Gonder, in 1665. Inside the…
Monument in Aksum

King Bazen's Tomb

Despite being the crudest of tombs, roughly hewn into solid rock instead of constructed with fine masonry, this place has a slightly magical feel. According to local beliefs, King Bazen is thought not just to have r…
Monument in Aksum

King Ezana's Inscription

On the way up to the tombs of Kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel, you’ll pass a small shack containing a remarkable find that three farmers stumbled upon in 1988: an Ethiopian version of the Rosetta Stone. The pillar, ins…
Museum in Aksum

St Mary of Zion Church Museum

The museum inside the St Mary of Zion Church complex contains an impressive haul of treasure, including an unsurpassed collection of former Ethiopian rulers’ crowns and a dazzling display of gold and silver chalices…