Lake Tana & its Monasteries attractions

Top Choice Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Dega Estefanos

One of the lake’s most sacred monasteries, Dega Estefanos (men only) was rebuilt in the mid-19th century and though the church isn’t too interesting, it holds a good selection of treasures (including a 16th-century …
Top Choice Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Ura Kidane Meret

The Zege Peninsula’s largest and most famous monastery is hardly the most attractive on the outside, but its maqdas (inner sanctuary) is beautifully painted and it holds an important collection of 14th- to 20th-cent…
Top Choice Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Narga Selassie

Set in the middle of the lake on Dek Island, Narga Selassie is peaceful, atmospheric and little visited. Built in the mid-18th century, it has a Gonderian influence and the fine original paintings include a portrait…
Top Choice Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Bete Selassie

Bete Selassie (men only) is a 30- to 45-minute walk inland from the Lake Tana shore at Zege Peninsula. The simple exterior of the church (rebuilt in 1858) gives no clue to the wonderfully vivid paintings (arguably t…
River in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Outlet of the Blue Nile

The Blue Nile outlet, a 20-minute boat ride east of Bahir Dar, has far greater geographical significance than it does natural beauty, although there's plenty of birdlife and you might see the odd hippo. From here, t…
Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Azuwa Maryam

The thatch roof atop the church at Azuwa Maryam helps make it the best-looking church on Zege (currently Bete Maryam is the only other church with thatch), though its paintings and small museum are more ordinary. Do…
Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Debre Maryam

The original 14th-century (some say 12th-century) church at Debre Maryam was rebuilt by Tewodros in the 19th century. It’s unattractive both outside and in and the treasury is meagre. The main reason to visit is tha…
Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Kebran Gabriel

Though the 17th-century church at Kebran Gabriel is beautiful, it’s no longer open to the public and the museums (one each for men and women) have nothing you won’t see elsewhere. It’s 20 minutes away from Bahir Dar…
Christian Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Tekla Haimanot

On top of the Zege Peninsula’s highest point, 10 minutes' walk from Bete Selassie, the church at Tekla Haimanot is similar but smaller than Bete Selassie’s. It has paintings by the same artists, but lacks the histor…
Monastery in Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Tana Cherkos

It’s said the Ark of the Covenant was hidden at Tana Cherkos for 800 years, which would seem to indicate it’s an interesting destination, but the present 19th-century church and its modern paintings are rather modes…