The history of Addis Ababa formally begins with the founding the city in the 19th century by Ethiopian emperor Manlike II and his wife empress Taitu Betul. Before there were many sites in the surrounding area that had been functioning as temporary capitals for the kingdoms of Shewa.
Ankober, a site about 160 km north of Addis Ababa, served as the capital of the kingdom of Shewa during the second half of the 18th century. As evidence, the ruins of the palace are still found on the lip of the great escarpment, which is popular in its breath-taking view. The village of Aliyu Amba, which was the most important market center of the Shewa Kingdom, is also located below Ankober, a palace at one of the broken hills.
Menlik, as Negus of Shewa (king of Shewa) had found at Mount Entoto, was a useful base of military operations on the south of his realm. In 1879, Menlik visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town and unfinished rock church that showed proof of an Ethiopian presence in the area prior to the campaigns of Ahmad Grange.
Addis Ababa has today about 8 million inhabitants. Its name means New Flower.
What to see
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Holy trinity Cathedral, known in Amharic as Kidst Selassie, is the highest ranking Orthodox Cathedral in Addis Ababa. It was built to commemorate Ethiopia’s liberation from Italian occupation and is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia, after the church of our lady Mary of Zion in Axum.
The cathedral bears the title Menbere Tsebaoat or pure Altar. The church compound is the burial place for those who fought against the Italian occupation, or those who accompanied the emperor in to the exile from 1936 to 1941.
Emperor Haile Selassie I and his Empress Menen Asfaw are buried in the north transept of the cathedral. Other members of the imperial family are buried in the crypt below the church. The High Altar of the cathedral is dedicated to Agaiste Alem Kidest Selassie (sovereigns of the world the holy Trinity).
The other two altars in the Holy Trinity, on the other side of the High Altar, are dedicated to St John the Baptist and to Kidane Meheret (St Maria). It is a very beautiful and attractive church. When you see the exterior and interior of the church, we are sure you will feel happiness and satisfaction.
The national museum of Ethiopia is located near the Addis Ababa university’s graduate school. The museum has the nations artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious archaeological findings such as the fossilized remains of early hominids. The most famous of which is “Lucy”, the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. It’s estimated to be 3.3 million years old.
The Ethnological Museum are set within Haile Selassie’s former palace and surrounded by the beautiful gardens and fountains of Addis Ababa University’s main campus. It is a very well known museum for it describes deeply the 84 different cultures and languages that lives side by side in Ethiopia. Our experienced and excellent guide will deeply explain about the culture, the language and the way of life in each society.
Red Terror Martyrs
The Ethiopian Civil War began on the 12 of september 1974 when the marxist Derg staged a coup d`’état against Emperor Haile Selassie, and lasted until the Ethiopien People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of rebel groups, overthrew the government in 1991. The war left at least 1,4 millions dead.
“As if I bore them all in one night, they slaughtered them in a single night”. These were the words spoken by the mother, whose four teenage children were all killed on the same day by the Derg. She officially opened the small but powerful, red Terror, Martyrs Memorial Museum in 2010. Over the space of a couple of rooms the museum reveals the fall of Emperor Haile Selassies and the horrors of life under Mengistus Dergś regime. The Museum is well laid out and incredibly moving. The walls of photos and names of just some of the killed under the Derg, or the display cabinets filled with human remains dug out of mass graves.
Mercato market is the biggest open air market in the hole of Africa. You can found almost everything in this big market. Mercato is traditionally categorized into sections with different names. The sections are organized on the types of goods sold in that section or in some cases based on the sources of goods sold in that section. Mercato serves as a hub to the other markets in Ethiopia, many business people from different regions of Ethiopia come to Mercato to buy goods in bulks and retail it back at their shops or markets. That is the reason to why you find many importers and distributers operating in Mercato. We are sure you will get an excellent experience with the biggest open air market in Africa.
Famous music center
In Addis Ababa you can experience different kind of music clubs all week long. The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Some forms of traditional music are strongly influenced by folk music from elsewhere in the horn of Africa.
However, Ethiopia’s religious music also has ancient Christian element, traced to Yared a music teacher who lived during the reign of Gabra Masqual. In the north eastern Ethiopia (in Wollo), a muslim musician form called Manzuma developed and the songs was performed in Amharic. Nowadays, this singing form is used by other languages in Ethiopia, such as the Oromo and the south part of Ethiopia. In the Ethiopian high land, traditional secular music is played by mostly itinerant musicians called Azmaris, who are regarded with both suspicion and respect in Ethiopian society.