Debre Berhan Selassie Church, Gonder

Admired the beamed painted ceiling Debre Berhan Selassie Church in Gondar, the hearth of Ethiopia. Originally built in 1693 by Emperor Iyasu the Great, who received a bell from the Dutch governor of India, the present-day structures was rebuilt in the 1880s after Mahdists dervishes from Sudan had damaged it. Like many Eastern Orthodox churches, this one, too, has an unassuming stone-and-brick exterior with double-arched entrance door and two-tiered thatched roof but once you get it, angles shine on you with light and color. Interior walls and ceiling are fully covered by painted images of 123 winged faces with big eyes staring at you as well and biblical scenes and various saints. Try to find a priest if you want more details but do make a small donation upon leave. Plan to visit Debre Berhan Selassie Church and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Gonder attractions using our Gonder tour builder .
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Debre Berhan Selassie Church Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
357 reviews
  • Whether this is the most beautiful church in Ethiopia as described in some guidebooks is still the question. Yet a visit to this church remains a very special experience.
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  • Inside fully painted with biblical sceneries, rich in color and expression as well as symbolism. Must see.  more »
  • It was the best place I have ever been Every one should see that one.
  • The church is easily accessible via local transport and is a quiet and beautiful structure with a meticulously painted interior. The paintings on the walls and ceiling were painted by one monk using natural dyes found locally. The priest at this church is very knowledgeable and kind. I recommend taking an Amharic interpreter in lieu of hiring a guide.
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