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Axum - Home of Ethiopia history and Ark of the Covenant


Travel and Tour Ethiopia - Blue sky Ethiopia tour offers great Ethiopia holidays, Honeymoons & private tours to all over Ethiopia. We offer complementary Hotel and Travel Service like car rent , airport shuttle service which are fully customizable.

Travel to Axum, Ethiopia

Axum or Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia which was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400 BC into the 10th century. The kingdom was also arbitrarily identified as Abyssinia, Ethiopia, and India in medieval writings.

Attractions in Aksum

The major Aksumite monuments in the town are stele; the largest number lie in the Northern Stele Park, ranging up to the 33-metre (33 meters high 3.84 metes wide 2.35 meters deep, weighing 520 tonnes) Great Stele, believed to have fallen and broken during construction.

The tallest standing is the 24-metre (20.6 meters high 2.65 meters wide 1.18 meters deep, weighing 160 tonnes) King Ezana's Stele.

Another stele (24.6 metres high 2.32 meters wide 1.36 meters deep, weighing 170 tonnes) removed by the Italian army was returned to Ethiopia in 2005 and reinstalled July 31, 2008[9].

This stele was already broken into pieces before being shipped. Three more stele measure 18.2 meters high 1.56 meters wide 0.76 meters deep, weighing 56 tonnes; 15.8 metes high 2.35 metes wide 1 metes deep, weighing 75 tonnes; 15.3 metes high 1.47 metes wide 0.78 metes deep, weighing 43 tonnes.[10]

The stelae are believed to mark graves and would have had cast metal discs affixed to their sides, which are also carved with architectural designs. The Gudit Stele to the west of town, unlike the northern area, are interspersed with mostly 4th century tombs.

Aksum Oblisk

St Mary of Zion church

Other features of the town include St Mary of Zion church, built in 1665 and said to contain the Ark of the Covenant (a prominent twentieth-century church of the same name neighbors it), archaeological and ethnographic museums, the Ezana Stone written in Sabaean, Ge'ez and Ancient Greek in a similar manner to the Rosetta Stone, King Bazen's Tomb (a megalith considered to be one of


the earliest structures) the so-called Queen of Sheba's Bath (actually a reservoir), the fourth-century Ta'akha Maryam and 6th-century Dungur palaces, the monasteries of Abba Pentalewon and Abba Liqanos and the Lioness of Gobedra rock art.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Aksum houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant in which lie the Tablets of Law upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed.

This same church was the site Ethiopian emperors were crowned for centuries until the reign of Fasilides, then again beginning with Yohannes IV until the end of the empire. Axum is considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia and is an important destination of pilgrimages.

Significant religious festivals are the T'imk'et Festival (known as the Epiphany in western Christianity) on 7 January and the Festival of Maryam Zion in late November.

Aksum Tsion church

Yeha is situated in the northern mountainous section of the Tigray region. Although today this small settlement survives as a shanty town, it was once a site of great pre-Axumite civilization.

Believed to be Ethiopia's first capital, Yeha was first uncovered in a complex archeological excavation around a courtyard at the beginning of the 20th C. The first settlers of this area, the Sabeans, were the founders of the Axumite kingdom.



Debre Damo - the Axumite architectural legacy lives on in several ancient churches, notably the male- only cliff top gem that is the monastery of Debre Damo. Debre Damo is only accessible by climbing up by a rope, which is made of "plaited leather", lowered from the cliffs, which visitors tie around their waist and are then pulled up by a monk at the top of the cliffs.

It is only accessible to men and male animals. Women and even female animals are forbidden to set a foot into the monastery, and must remain under the cliffs and pray from there.

Tour Packages to Axum

Tour of Axum - Tour Code: BSET106 - Duration: 3 NIGHTS AND 4 DAYS.

The Standard Historic Route by Flight - Tour Code: BSET 108 Duration: 4 NIGHTS AND 5 DAYS.

Tigray Rock Hewn Churches and Lalibela-Tour Code: BSET 202 Duration: 14 NIGHTS AND 15 DAYS

For more detail of these tours and many others please visit the link - Tour programs.