Hayk Estifanos Monastery

Monastery in Hayk

The museum at Hayk Estifanos Monastery, on a long peninsula 4km northeast of town, dates from the mid-13th century and was founded by Abba Iyasus Moa. Between the 13th and 15th centuries it was among Ethiopia’s most important monasteries. It’s open to men only, and the church building is modern and ordinary, so overall it’s really only worth a visit if you have a serious interest in Ethiopian churches.

The museum holds the oldest-known manuscript to record its own date (the book of the four gospels produced for the monastery between 1280 and 1281) and other items such as Moa’s stone cross and various cooking utensils.

To reach here involves a 20- to 30-minute walk or boat ride (Birr400 to Birr600) from the end of the road by the lakeshore.