One of the highlights of Ethiopia is Axum.
Ethiopia is a fantastic place to plan a summer vacation as it is affordable and historic. Axum which is located in the northern part of Ethiopia has lots of different things to offer and has a rich history which you can spend weeks exploring.
One of the most popular things to do when in Axum is visiting the Stelae park. The parks name comes from the stone slabs otherwise known as Stelae that encompass the entire park. The interesting thing about stelae park is that 90% of the park has yet to be dug up which is incredible to think about given the amazing site that already exists.
The stelae park contains several tombs, but little is known about the context of these tombs because robbers stole the contents which did not allow archaeologists to understand the backstories behind the tombs. Stelae park is also believed to have at one point been the home to the biblical Ark of the Covenant, which is a very neat thing to think about when walking around the park.
Perhaps Axum’s most popular attraction is St. Mary’s of Zion Church which has an incredibly rich history along with a beautiful design. While the church building is rather new the history behind the church is impressive.
The church dates back all the way to the 4th century when Axumite King Ezana began promoting Christianity around the area. To this day King Ezana is considered a saint in the Catholic church as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
If the history piques your interest, then you will love visiting here because you can see some of the structure from the original building from the fourth century. St. Mary’s of Zion Church is also believed to contain the Ark of the Covenant.
Another interesting place to visit if you are in Axum is the Queen of Sheba Bath. This is essentially a pool of water which the locals consider holy because it is believed the queen used this area to bathe. Locals will use this pool of water today for drinking water, it is not uncommon to come across Ethiopians coming to the pool with plastic containers that they will fill up with water. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the pool is that it is made out of solid rock and still is to this day.
Hopefully this article will provide you with some interesting things to see and do in Axum. The city is full of incredible ancient history and you can easily spend a week traveling across the city discovering all the ancient history behind monuments and buildings. Wishing you the best in your traveling.