The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist attraction for its many picturesque ruins in the Royal Enclosure, from which the Emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides castle, Iyasu's Palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Mentewab's Castle, a chancellery, library and three churches.
Near the city lie Fasiladas' Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing; the Qusquam complex, built by Empress Mentewab; the eighteenth century Ras Mikael Sehul's Palace and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church.
Gondar is now a tourist hot-spot, called "the Camelot of Africa."
Downtown Gondar shows the influence of the Italian occupation of the late 1930s. The main piazza features shops, a cinema, and other public buildings in a simplified Italian Modern style still distinctively of the period despite later changes and, frequently, neglect. Villas and flats in the nearby quarter that once housed occupation officials and colonists are also of interest.
Fasilides Castle is a stunning tourist destination in Ethiopia. It is an old castle built in 17th century for the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides Alam Sagad. The castle can be found in Gondar, Amhara Region. The castle’s structure is purely made of stone. Definitely, Fasilides Castle is a representation of Ethiopia’s great history.
To the North of Gondar, traditionally the preserve of hardened trekkers and hikers, lie the staggeringly scenic Simien Mountain National Park, home to the country’s main concentrations of the endemic Gelada Baboon and Walia Ibex. Notable animals in the mountains include, Caracal and a few Ethiopian wolves.
Following the recent construction of a rough road in to the Simien Mountains, this lovely range forms a feasible day or overnight trip out of Gondar.
The region includes many summits above 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), and culminates in the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dashen, which at 4,543 meters (14,901 feet), is also Africa’s fourth highest mountain. It is not a very difficult mountain to climb and can be reached by traveling through the Simien Mountains national Park.
This is a tough, challenging and incredibly rewarding trek, and you will remember the beauty of the countryside, the diversity of the flora and fauna and the friendliness of the local people for a long time to come.
History of Gondar
Ethiopian Emperor Fasilides Alam Sagad is one of the remarkable rulers in Abyssinia, the ancient name of Ethiopia. He founded the city of Gondar in 1636 which became the capital of Abyssinia, which is in the northwestern part of Ethiopia.
The Gondar city during that time was one of the most significant business centers in Abyssinia. It is also home to various cultural and administrative amenities. Because of that, the city prospered and different structures were built.
From time to time, castles, churches and other infrastructures were constructed. One of those is the emperor’s castle, the Fasilides Castle. It is one of the most important castles in Ethiopia.
There are many other castles and old churches around the place, but the Fasilides Castle is the most remarkable because little damage has been done to it. A tourist can be amazed at how this enormous castle was built during the early times and how it battled to remain standing until the 21st century.