Set in a landscape of incomparable beauty, Gondar became the royal capital of Ethiopia in the 17th century under Emperor Fasiladas who built the first and most famous of its castles. His son Yohannes I built two more castles one of which was used as a library.
His grandson Lyasu I built another a castle. Ivory, gold and precious stones were inlaid within its interior and it was described as “more beautiful than the house of Solomon”.
When you wander around the compound and through the abandoned halls, you can easily imagine the big banquets that were held here and the court intrigues that took place. Fasiladas bath, set in a beautiful shady compound is worth a visit. Nowadays it is filled with water once a year, on the big Timkat Feast to be the centre of a joyful celebration.
The Debre Berhan Selassie church, built by Lyasu I is famous for its beautiful, colorful wall paintings of biblical scenes and medieval history. From the ceiling, 80 angels with Ethiopian features are watching you with their big brown eyes.