Maryam Papaseit

Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray

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 Holies' is hewn from the rock) while the main sanctuary has some exceptional paintings, most of which date from the 17th century. The church is a moderate one-hour walk from the end of the road.

Painting subjects include the usual mix of Old and New Testament scenes, with Mary and St George prominent – those of the '24 elders of the apocalypse' and Jesus washing Peter's feet are particularly finely rendered.

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