Ethiopia :: Ethiopia
Category: Places :: Town
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Axum is an ancient city, established three centuries before the birth of Christ. It was the technologically advanced centre of the mighty Axumite Empire and major participant in world trade between the 1st and 7th centuries AD. As Axum was partially destroyed by the Muslim leader Ahmen Gragn in the 16th century, much of it is no longer visible and its history yet to be fully established through archaeological excavation. The tiny fraction of excavation that has been done indicates that a wealth of information has yet to be uncovered. By miracle a stelae field from the Axumite kings survived the destruction. It is believed that these obelisk-like structures, some up to around 25m high, can be attributed to the personal commemorative desires of ancient Axumite kings, who had them built as a site for their tombs. The 3rd largest of these was cut into three pieces at the time of the Italian occupation and reassembled in the piazza in Rome, but, after negotiations between the two governments, was returned to Axum in 2005.
Today Axum is a vibrant and busy town and one of the main tourist attractions in Ethiopia. Apart from the stelae field, the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion and the Queen of Sheba bath are popular tourist attractions, as are the rock-hewn churches of the Tigray region. Many tourists fly to Axum to explore the attractions of the area. The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion is a fully functional Ethiopian Orthodox church and on Sundays thousands of churchgoers in their long white robes fill the area around the church. The church claims to house the Biblical Ark of the Covenant with the Tablets of Law upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed. According to Ethiopian tradition the Queen of Sheba (known as Makeda) lived in Axum from where she journeyed to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, who was said to have fathered her son Menelik.
Axum offers a variety of accommodation, from basic to upmarket and all amenities visitors may possibly need.
|Cellphone Reception :||Good|
|Tourist Information :||Yes|
|Facilities :||Shops, Bank, ATM, Foreign Exchange, Internet Cafe, Lodging, Butchery, Bakery, Liquor, Restaurant, Pharmacy, Airport, Mechanical Repair|
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