Bete Maryam

Lake Tana & its Monasteries

Founded in the 13th century, Bete Maryam, near the tip of the peninsula, is the oldest monastery on Zege and its attractive church has some excellent murals that, unfortunately, have suffered water damage. It’s a short walk from the landing through lemon and coffee trees.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lake Tana & its Monasteries attractions

1. Zeghie Satekela Museum

0.21 MILES

Outside the gate to Ura Kidane Meret is the private Zeghie Satekela Museum, with a collection of household items displayed in a 300-year-old home.

2. 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…

3. Azuwa Maryam

0.39 MILES

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)…

4. Bete Giorgis

0.54 MILES

Just uphill from Bete Maryam, Bete Giorgis is being rebuilt from scratch following a fire. Its small museum, with an important collection of crowns, is…

5. Tekla Haimanot

0.73 MILES

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…

6. Bete Selassie

0.86 MILES

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)…

7. Kebran Gabriel

4.15 MILES

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…

8. Entos Eyesu

4.37 MILES

The small island next door to Kebran Gabriel hosts the completely modern and, frankly, uninteresting Entos Eyesu, which offers the novelty of monks and…