Bet Golgotha & Bet Mikael

Church in Lalibela

A trench at the southern end of the Bet Maryam courtyard connects it to the twin churches of Bet Golgotha and Bet Mikael (also known as Bet Debre Sina). The pair have the only cruciform pillars of Lalibela’s churches and relief-carved crosses proliferate in Bet Mikael. The entrance leads first to Bet Mikael and then to Bet Golgotha, which women can’t enter.

Bet Golgotha is known for containing some of the best early examples of Ethiopian Christian art, including some amazing life-size depictions of the 12 apostles carved into the walls’ niches. Four are visible, with the other eight behind the curtains in the off-limits Selassie Chapel, one of Lalibela’s holiest sanctuaries and home to more fantastic art and also the reputed tomb of King Lalibela himself.