Church of Debre Sina

Northern Ethiopia

The most interesting relic of Gorgora’s former days as a short-lived capital is the attractive Debre Sina church. Built in 1608 by Emperor Susenyos’ son and future founder of Gonder, Fasiladas, on the site of a 14th-century monastery, it’s decorated with fading original paintings. These are older and thus less vivid and complex than the paintings in the monasteries on the southern side of the lake, and interesting because of the difference.

Locals believe the ‘Egyptian St Mary’ painting, which is supposed to have come from Egypt but looks no different than the other paintings, has the power to heal. The church’s thatch roof and surrounding stone buildings lend this monastery a more ancient feel than most.

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