Dungur (Queen of Sheba’s) Palace

Ruins in Aksum

The structure at Dungur is popularly known as Queen of Sheba’s Palace, though archaeologists are divided over whether it was the great woman's palace or the 6th-century-AD mansion of a nobleman. Most leaned towards the latter, but the find during recent excavations of a relief carving depicting a beautiful woman (in the museum at St Mary of Zion Church) has caused some to wonder whether her palace may lie beneath the current ruins.

Climb the observation tower at the back of the site for a view out over the 50-room layout. It has small undressed stones and walls recessed at intervals and unusually tapering with height. The well-preserved flagstone floor is thought to have belonged to a throne room. The palace also contains hidden treasure rooms, a private bathing area and a kitchen, where a large brick oven can still be seen. The stairwells suggest the existence of at least one upper storey.