Church of St. George, Lalibela

4.9
#2 of 16 in Historic Sites in Amhara Region
The Church of St. George (Bete Giyorgis) is one of eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela, a city in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Originally named Roha (Warwar), the historical and religious site was named Lalibela after the King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty, who commissioned its construction. He is regarded as a saint by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.HistoryThe church was carved from a type of volcanic tuff. This is the sole architectural material that was used in the structure. It has been dated to the late 12th or early 13th century AD, and thought to have been constructed during the reign of King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, of the late Zagwe dynasty. It is among the best known and last built of the eleven churches in the Lalibela area, and has been referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, sought to recreate Jerusalem, and structured the churches' landscape and religious sites in such a way as to achieve such a feat. “The churches at Lalibela are clustered in two major groups, one representing the earthly Jerusalem, and the other representing the heavenly Jerusalem. Located directly between them is a trench representing the River Jordan”. The dimensions of the trench are 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters, and there is a small baptismal pool outside the church, which stands in an artificial trench.
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Church of St. George Reviews
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  • Well worth the visit. Include the other churches in the area - they are all in walking distance of each other. A good weekend trip but no more than two days.  more »
  • The key is to cast your mind back to the 13th century. Jerusalem has fallen to Saladin the muslim. Kin g Lalibela decides to build a new Jerusalem so he orders these churches to be created. But...  more »
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