Top ChoiceChurch in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Abuna Yemata Guh

Abuna Yemata Guh

There's nowhere on earth quite like Abuna Yemata Guh. Although less impressive architecturally than most, the church is spectacularly sited within a cliff face, halfway up a sheer rock pinnacle 4km west of Megab....

Top ChoiceChurch in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Mikael Debre Selam

This church or ‘church within a church’ has an exceptional brown-and-white, Aksumite-style facade fronting its inner rock-hewn section. The bright, modern paintings at the front and its beautiful carved arch add...

Top ChoiceChurch in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Abuna Abraham

Rectangular in shape, with six massive free-standing pillars, this large and impressive 14th-century church (also known as Debre Tsion) is known for its diverse architectural features, including decorated...

Top ChoiceChurch in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Abraha We Atsbeha

Architecturally speaking, this 10th-century church is one of Tigray’s finest. It’s large and cruciform in shape, with cruciform pillars and well-preserved 17th- and 18th-century murals and a wonderful wooden...

Top ChoiceChurch in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Maryam Korkor

Although an unsightly green from the outside, this impressive, cross-shaped church is known for its architectural features (cruciform pillars, arches and cupolas), fine 17th-century frescos and church treasures....

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Maryam Papaseit

In a pretty valley south of Hawzien and signposted off the Megab-Wukro road, Maryam Papaseit is one of the most accessible and rewarding churches in the region. It's a semi-monolithic structure (only the 'Holy of...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Medhane Alem Kesho

Also known as Adi Kesho, after its location, this is one of Tigray’s oldest, tallest and finest rock-hewn churches. Its exterior and interior walls are roughly hewn, which only makes the elaborately carved...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Abuna Gebre Mikael

Though not visited very often, this is considered one of Gheralta’s finest churches. The cruciform plan is hewn into a dome-like rock and it has good unfaded frescoes and carefully carved columns, pillars,...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Daniel Korkor

Just a couple of minutes’ walk from Maryam Korkor is the seldom-used church of Daniel Korkor. It sits atop a paralysing precipice, offers astounding views and has fine paintings.

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Abba Yohanni

Abba Yohanni

Impressively located halfway up a 300m-high sheer cliff face, this church is reached by a 15-minute climb using steps, tunnels and little bridges. The crooked carving and large cracks make the three-aisled,...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Gebriel Wukien

In a grove of trees on the other side of the same mountain as Abba Yohanni, this architecturally interesting 15th-century church, is entered through a rock-hewn trench. Unfortunately the priest lives an hour...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Petros We Paulos

Only partly hewn, this wood, stone and mortar church, now out of service, is built on a steep ledge and is more interesting from the outside than in, though the old, rapidly deteriorating murals of saints and...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Wukro Cherkos

This crooked cruciform sandstone church is semi-monolithic and boasts beautiful cruciform pillars (notice the swirling sandstone laminae), cubical capitals, an outstanding Aksumite frieze and a barrel-vaulted...

Museum in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Wukro Museum

One of the best museums in Ethiopia's north, Wukro Museum begins with some displays on generators and electricity in Wukro, which are interesting enough, but head instead for the southern wing with its fine...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Mikael Barka

Atop a small but panoramic hill and behind an ugly 1960s facade sits this better-than-average rock-hewn church. It has thick cruciform pillars, small carved ceiling domes, a few paintings so faded you wouldn’t...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Yohannes Maequdi

High atop the mountain and not visible from the ground below, this rectangular chapel has six freestanding pillars that support a ceiling carved with geometrical designs. While it’s best known for well-preserved...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Mikael Imba

Of all Tigray’s rock-hewn churches, Mikael Imba, possibly dating from the 11th century, most resembles those seen at Lalibela. A three-quarter monolith, the interior is huge (16.6m wide and 9m deep) with 25...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Mikael Milhaizengi

This tiny church, with its stooped doorway, is hewn into the top of a small bleached hill and is thought to date from the 8th century. It’s known for its 3m-high carved dome ceiling that resembles a himbasha (a...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Dugem Selassie

Built into a small outcrop rather than a big hill, this church feels like a tomb and may have been one before being converted. The 19th-century ‘new’ church alongside it is partially cut from the rock and topped...

Church in Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

Meqaber Ga'ewa

This ancient site is little more than a barely accessible archaeological dig, but it's an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the 7th-century-BC Sabean civilisation. Far more interesting than the site...