Historical Development of Addis Ababa
In the long history of Ethiopia, three important sites had been used as permanent capitals of the central government, namely Axum, Lalibela and Gondar respectively. Most kings of the medieval period used mobile courts instead of fixed capitals. The present city, Addis Ababa can be considered as the fourth permanent capital in the history of the country.
Before the advent of Addis Ababa, there were many sites in the surrounding areas that had been used as temporary capitals for the Kingdom of Shewa. Ankober, a site about 160km far from north of Addis Ababa, was served as the capital of the kingdom of Shewa during second half of the 18th century. As evidence, the ruins of the palace are still found on the lip of the great escarpment, which is popular in its breath taking view. The village of Aliyu Amba, which was the most important market centre of the Shewa Kingdome, is also located below Ankober palace at one of the broken hills. Other areas, like Wechecha, Yerrer and Entoto were also temporarily used as capitals of the Shewan Kingdom.
It was by Emperor Menelik II that the capital of the Shewan Kingdom was moved from Ankober to Entoto in 1881.
Entoto was used as a capital for a short period i.e. from 1881 to 1886. This short span of time is attributed to various problems including poor supply of water and wood, the windy and cold climate, thunderstorms, and tiresome up lift (climb) to the mountain. In addition, the availability of ample firearms reduces the importance of mountain fortress like Entoto. On the other hand, both King Menelik and Empress Taitu were attracted by the ‘Felwuha’ (hot springs) down to the latter capital, which had been a regular resort of the Entoto settlers because of its warmth and curative purposes.
The foundation of the new city was laid down by Empress Taitu around the ‘felwuha’ in 1886 when her husband was marched to Harer. She coined the name of the site as “Addis Ababa” in Amharic, which means “New flower”.
In 1887, Empress Taitu built her residence near the spring. Menelik himself decided to build his permanent palace on an elevated site north of the springs. Then, the nobility, members of the royal family and the government, servants of the palace and the like began to build their own houses and settled in the surrounding area of the palace.
In 1900, there was an intention by Emperor Menelik to transfer his capital from Addis Ababa to Addis Alem, a site 55km to the West of Addis Ababa. The name Addis Alem was apparently given by Queen Tatiu to mean the “New World”. The main reason for the intention of abandoning Addis Ababa was shortage of wood for construction and other purposes. More than intention, however, construction was started at the top of a small hill that has a commanding view of the surrounding areas. The Church of Saint Mary and the palace are among the built structures that are still stand at the top of the hill in Addis Alem as witnesses of the intention.
However, latter in 1903, Menelik gave up the project of transferring the capital to Addis Alem due to various reasons. Primarily, the Emperor faced opposition from various members of the society including the foreign legation who had already built their expensive residence in Addis Ababa. There was also shortage of water in Addis Alem. Furthermore, the introduction of eucalyptus trees from Australia solved the problem of wood shortage in Addis Ababa. When the intention of making Addis Alem the capital was abandoned, the palace building was then converted into a place of worship by the order of Emperor Menelik. Since then, assuring its permanence, Addis Ababa has continued to serve as a capital of the country.
Currently, Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU). On July 9, 2000, fifty-three heads of state formed the African Union (AU). The new organization replaces the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and is designed to accelerate the integration of the African continent. With more than 70 embassies and consular representatives in the city, Addis Ababa is the Diplomatic capital of Africa.
It is also the third highest capital in the world after La Paz (Bolivia) and Quinto (Ecuador).
Addis Ababa is the Federal Capital of Ethiopia and a Chartered City; having three layers of Government: City Government at the top, 10 Sub City Administrations in the Middle, and 99 Kebele Administrations at the bottom.
Sub cities in Alphabetical order
- Addis Ketema sub city
- Akaki-Kality sub city
- Arada sub city
- Bole sub city
- Gullelle sub city
- Kirkos sub city
- Kolfe sub city
- Lideta sub city
- Nefas silk sub city
- Yeka sub city
Tourist Attraction in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is a home of tremendous tourist attractions that have various cultural, historical, architectural, aesthetic, economic, spiritual, political and symbolic values.
Four palaces have known in Addis Ababa. Two of them are still serving as the main headquarters of the Ethiopian government so that they are not accessible for visitors.
Menelik II Palace at Entoto
It is located at the top of the rising slope of the Entoto Mountain.It was built in 1880s when Entoto was used as a capital for King Menelik II of ShewaThe ‘Elfign’ (Menelik’s II residence and the ‘Adarash’ ( the principal reception Hall) are the major existing building that were served as an office and banquet.
It is also called the Palace of Emperor Menelik.It is the second oldest palace in Addis Ababa, next to the Entoto.It is still serving as the main headquarter of the Ethiopian government (the Prime Minister).The churches of Beta Mariam, Kidane Mihieret and the Menelik Mausoleum are found within the palace compound
Genet Leul Palace
It is found within the main campus of Addis Ababa University, Sidsit Kilo.It was built shortly before the Italin facist invasion as the abode of Emperor Haile Selassie I.Emperor Haile Selassie I inherited it from his father Ras Mekonnen.Lather, the Emperor presented it to the University and has become part of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) Library and Museum.The bedroom of the Emperor, which was used for more than 10 years and some personal gifts of the Emperor, are found in the museum and accessible for visitors.
The National palace
It was formerly known as the Jubilee PalaceIt was built in 1955 to commemorate the 25th years of Emperor Haile Selasse’s reign. Originally, it was planned as a residence of important state guest. It beguan to be used as the personal home of the Emperor after he gave the Genet Leul palace for the Universtiy.
It is located at about a kilometer north of Yeka Mikael church.There is still a ruin of carved rock-hewn church in the area. According to legendary accounts, its establishment is dated to the times of ancient Axumite Kings, Abreha (Ezana) and Atseba (Saizana) i.e. around 370 A.D. The ‘Tabot’ (the replica of the Ark of the Covenant) is said to have been transformed in 1897 into the Yeka Mikael church down the road.
Entoto Saint mary’s Church
It is located at the top of the hill of Entoto. It was built in 1880s by the request of Queen Taitu for her husband Menelik II It is an Octagonal form with the three distinct concentric chambers. The interior walls of the church are covered with beautiful paintings. Abune Mathewos, the bishop, crowned Emperor Menelik II there. The palace and the museum are also found within the church compound
St. Raguel church
It is two-storey church situated at about a kilometer distance in the northwest of St. Mary’s Church. Like many other Ethiopian churches, its interior wall is decorated with traditional paintings. Around the church, there are two rock-hewn caves carved in small cliff. They were probably excavated around the close of the 14th century, during the reigh of King Dawit (r. 1380 – 1430). The one was used as a church and the other as a place for the preparation of the Holy Communion, also known as Bethelhem. During the wars of Ahmed Gragn, the caves were used to hide religious treasures. According to the local people, the caves were also served as a resting place of Emperor Menelik II before his body was finally placed in the mausoleum at Be’eta Mariam.
St. George Cathedral
It is locate in Paisa near to the Menelik II monument The original church was a round building of traditional style with thatched roof, built in 1897. The ‘tabot’ of St. George was marched to the Battle of Adowa. It is perhaps for its commemoration that the church was built. The current church is an octagonal building, set in pleasant wooded gardens and elegant doomed and was built in 1906. It is decorated with several interesting paintings and Afework Tekle (Ethiopia’s leading modern artist) did some of them. It has a small but interesting museum, which has several valuable treasures.
Be’eta St. May church
It is found within the compound of the Grand palace Empress Zewditu built it in 1911. Paintings of the wall of the sanctuary are very interesting that also depict some the members of Menelik’s II royal family and scenes of events during his time. The ground floor contains Menelik II Mausoleu that houses the skeletal remains of Menelik II, Empress Taitu, Empress Zewiditu, Abune Mathewos (the Archbishop who crowned Menelik) and prince Tsehay (daughter of Emperor Haile Selassie I). Within the compound, near to the Be’eta St. Mary’s church, there is also the church of Kidane Mihert built in traditional tukuls style with a thatched peaked roof.
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Emperor Haile Selassie I built it in 1941 after the restoration of independence from the Fascist Italian occupation. Many beautiful paintings, morals and stained-glass windows decorated the interior. Its exterior is very impressive with elaborate pillars and carved decorations. There are many statues of angels and disciples on the rooftop, culminating in an impressive way. The tombs of Queen Mennen (wife of Emperor Haile Selassie I) is found inside the church. In the church yare, there are tombs and monuments of very important persons including the patriots who lost their lives during the five years Italian occupations of Ethiopian, members of the royal family, commemorations of Ethiopian soldiers who died in the Korean War (1950 -1953 and monument of Sylvia Pankhrust.
Landmarks and Monuments in Addis Ababa
The traditions of erecting monuments has an age-old history in Ethiopia. In this regard, the Axumite and Tiya monuments are worth mentioning. It is obvious that monuments has been erected in Ethiopia to commemorate very important personalities or events. In Addis Ababa, more than 17 monuments stand at different parts of the capital.
The statue of Abune Petros, the archbishop executed by the Italian invading troops, the liberation monument around Arat Kilo, the martyrs’ monument around Sidest kilo, the Andinet statue erected in memory of the fallen troops during the invasion of Somalia, the statue of Emperor Menelik at the heart of the city called Arada and the Lion of Judah erected in front of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway are some of the historical sites in Addis that are worth visiting.
In 1969 E.C, the troops of Somalia Republic led by President Siad Bare invaded Eastern Ethiopia. This Tiglachin monument was erected in memory of members of the heroic Ethiopian defense forces, who repulsed with Cuban support the aggressive Somali army. Behind the statue, there is the Black Lion Hospital, a name adopted from that of young Holeta Military Academy cadets who organized themselves as guerillas during the Fascist occupation (1936-41). The Post Office and the Ethiopian Television are found in front of and to the right of the monument respectively.
This monument commemorates those entire gallant Ethiopians who fell fighting against the invading forces of Somali in 1969 war. At the moment the area is taken to be an Ethio-Cuba Friendship Park.
Sebastopol/ Tewodros Square
Canon on Tewodros Square Ethiopia had an emperor by the name of Tewodros, who ascended the throne in 1855. He had an ambition to build an armaments industry in Ethiopia. He, therefore, gathered the European missionaries inside the country and ordered them to forge a cannon which he called Sebastopol. This cannon was fired once and then went out of use. It now lies in the middel of a plateau called Meqedela in the northern part of Ethiopia. However, its replica has recently been fashioned in bronze and placed in the square named after the Emperor located along Churchill road.
Pushkin Statue Russia had several literary giants such as Gogol, Chekov, Gorky and Pushkin. Alexander Pushkin has a history that links him with Ethiopia. According to some history books, his grandfather, Hannibal, had his roots in Ethiopia. Thus, a bust has been erected in Addis in Pushkin’s honor and memory. An avenue is also called after his name.
The Lion of Judah
The lion is the symbol of heroism and resistance to Ethiopians. Especially, during the period of monarchy, the lion was the icon of imperial dignity. In Addis Ababa, there are two lion sculptures located within a close radius of each other.
The Statue of the Lion of Judah
The lion of Judah erected on the square to the Addis Ababa Railway Station commemorates Emperor Menelik who devoted his time to link Ethiopia with the foreign world by means of railway line through the help of the then white foreign minister and advisor of him Engineer Alfred llg. The bronze statue is located immediately in front of the Rail way station, which was built by the French and inaugurated in 1929.
On the Lion of Judah Statue are carved in relief the effigies or faces of four high personalities in its four sides, i.e Emperor Menelik II in his cronation robe and crown, surrounded by patterns of maize crops and coffee plants (north), Queen Zewditu in a circular relief and with golden crown on head (south), Ras Monkonne with the respected golden crown in a patterned relief and Negus Tefari in his robe and crown of prince hood and with decoration of pattern.
Similarly to the Equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II, the statue of the Lion of Judah was pulled down in 1936 fascist Italian invasion and taken to Rome when it stayed for 30 years. Until it come back home through long time negotiation and re-erected on the original place on the same month and date it was previously inaugurated.
The lion of Judah itself turns its face to the sout with opened mouth, raised left fore leg and carrying the Ethiopian flag on a cross bar rested on his shoulder.
The Lion of Judah of Emperor Haile Selassie
This black-stone carved monument is erected near the National Theater on the western sid at the Unity Square and it commemorates the Silver Jubilee of Emperor Haile Selassie, celebrated in 1955.
The monument is the work of a French sculptor Morris Calka, the winner of grand prix of Rome. Henry Shomet the Architect of the Addis Ababa City Hall selected him to be engaged in this task. The symbol of the monument served as a logo to the former Ethiopian Tourism Commission and is still serving the present Ministry of Culture and Tourism, depicting the country’s tourism promotion slogan ‘thirteen months of sunshine’.
Statue of His Holiness Abune petros
Petros was one of the first four Ethiopian archbishops anointed by the Patriarch of the Alexandria Coptic Church. He was the archbishop of Wello province diocese.
The fist statue was erected in 1941 and inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie in memory of Abune Petors the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church. Abune Petros was an Ethiopian Archbishop who supported the national Patriots who fought against the fascist Italian invaders. The fascist leaders to tried to persuade him to preach to the people to Ethiopia so that they would accept their leadership. But, instead of that the Archbishop courageously faced the firing squad in defiance of the fascists and agitated both the patriots and the whole population not to surrender to the Italians by excommunicating not only the faithful but also the land itself.
Because of his counter actions he was shot, and the monument describing the action is seen within the street and square under his name just below the City Hall to the west.
The original statue with full bishopric robe, a cross and a bible in his hands was replaced by the present one which indicates the action of his murder with guns with chained hands. The first statue is today found in the premises of St. George Cathedral in front of the bell tower where a small museum is arranged.
The Equestrian Statue of Emperor Menelik II
It is erected on the Square of Emperor Menelik near St. George church and it is a standing testimony of the famous Battle of Adwa in 1896 where African triumphed over European colonialism.
The statue of Emperor Menelik is one of the monuments erected many years after the foundation of Addis Ababa as a capital of the country. A German architect Hartle Spengler carved it from bronze in Germany on the order of Queen Zewditu, the daughter of Emperor Menelik II for the memory of the father.
The statue symbolizes the anti colonial struggle of Emperor Menelik who waged the Battle of Adwa heading the Ethiopian warriors and conquered the white army in the land of the black continent.
The story symbolizes Emperor Menelik in his coronation robe riding gloriously on Abba Dagnew, his horse, and two spears on hand. As it is shown on the statue Abba Dagnew, being out of natural size and raising both the fore-leg’s, looks to the north whre the battle of Adwa took place and victory was for Ethioians. At the time when the statue Menelik was arrived in Ethiopia from Germany and its place of erection had been arranged, Queen Zewditu died accidentally in 1930. Therefore, only the then crown prince and later Emperor Haile Selassie attended the inauguration ceremony on the eve of his coronation day of the same year.
With the flowing Italian occupation of Ethiopia from 1936 -1941, the Italian got frustrated with the residents of Addis Ababa bowing and saluting the statue and removed it from its place during the night and hid it. However, with the eviction of the Italians, the statue was reinstated assuming its present position as opposed to its direction to the south when erected originally.
Victory Statue (Miazia 27)
This monument is located on the intersection of Adwa, Queen Elizabeth and Development through Cooperation avenues at Arat Kilo, and commemorates the victory of the Ethiopian over the Fascist Italians in 1941 as well as those gallant. Ethiopians who perished resisting the invading Fascist forces during 1936 -1941 war. The official name of the square where the monument is Miazia 27, i.e, the day of the liberation of the country and the arrival of the Emperor together with his patriotic troops in Addis Ababa.
Emperor Haile Selassie inaugurated the Freedom Monument in 1944. As can be seen, 15-meter monument symbolizing the obelisks of Axum is supported by pillars and has six entrances. The entire history of the five years struggle is narrated by writings carved on the stone tablets round the monument. On the western entrance is read the discourse of Emperor Haile Selassie at the time of arrival and the day of liberation in 1941. On the remaining three entrances to the monument are written on the stone the following;-
North-West: this writing commemorates the patriots of the fivev years struggle and the woman with bas – relief holding a sward in her hands, depicts it. On the stone writings are narrated the contribution of those who fought the enemy secretly at home submitting information to the patriots.
North-East: this side denotes the memory of the patriots whov perished in the five years war and again is depicted by a woman with a sword in her hands; while on the stone there is a narration of the role they played.
South-East: depicts Emperor Haile Sealssie holding the Ethiopianv flag in his hands and the relief of the Lion of Judah under him; while the stone writings oat that part narrate the great political and diplomatic role of the Emperor to liberate the country in the time of his exile.
South-West: this part is left for the memory of those Ethiopiansv who emigrated from their county and fought wherever they were against the fascist Italians’ occupation. Here also is depicted a woman holding a spear in her left hand and shield in the other and on her head wreath of anguish; while on the stone under her is narrated the life of those emigrant Ethiopians who suffered in foreigner countries.
The top of the monument in turn reveals the Lion of Judah holding the Ethiopian flag in its leg and facing the north direction. On the same place at the top in the western side is seen a clock with its short hand indicating one o’clock, i.e., the time of arrival of the patriots in Addis Ababa.
Martyrs’ Monument (Yekatit 12)
The obelisk (monument) was inaugurated on February 1942 in memory of the citizens of Addis Ababa killed in the Italian Fascist Massacre of February 1937 and it tells the world (and reminds Ethiopians) about the wild acts and genocide of the fascist Italians through Graziani. An attempt on the life of the Fascist Viceroy Graziani, by tow Ethiopians, in February 1937 provoked the Italian to unleash a three-day reign of terror in the course of which thousands of innocent Ethiopian citizens, including aged people, children, and pregnant women were killed in cold blood by bayonets, guns, spades, etc and many of houses burnt down.
The entire horror and terrorist action befallen on the citizens of Addis Ababa is depicted in bas-relief on the 28-Meter of the monument made by two Yugoslavia architects. In addition, the massacre was narrated by bronze letters carved on open-book-like stones on four directions around the obelisk. But unfortunately these letters are today removed away by unknown body and taken forever.
The statue of Ras Mokonnen
It is located on the Bridge of the same name at a corner known as Ras Mokonnen Minch (stream) near Saba Dereja and was erected by Emperor Haile Selassie some five years earlier to the Italina invasion to commemorate his father, Ras Monkonnen Welde Mikael. When the Italians controlled Addis Ababa they dismantled the statue as it was done with other monuments. But after liberation, it was carved again and inaugurated on May 5, 1934. The statue show only the upper part of the body of Ras Mokonnen together with a relief of a lion of Judah under it. The stream on which the statue is erected said to be used as source of potable water for the neighboring people before tap water was available as today in the capital city
This Museum was founded in 1952. The Museum preserves and displays the country’s historical, cultural and archeological heritage. Accordingly, the museum is structured as follows.
1. Paleontology and pre-history section: – This section displays various fossils including the remains of Denknesh (Lucy) believed to be the first human ancestor. It also has litic (stone) tools.
2. Historical archeology section: – This section includes various archeological findings from all over the country, although most originate from the Axumite period.
3. Ethnology: Ethiopia is labbled a cultural mosaic. Hence, this section displays the traditional and ceremonial cloths, jewels and living styles of different ethnic groups in the country. In addition, you can see here documentary films with different themes.
4. Modern art: this is one quarter of the Museum where you can visit splendid art works of Ethiopian artists and sculptures. Also here, one can find portraits of Ethiopian leaders beginning from the 18th century till now.
Entot St. Mary’s Museum
It is found within the compound of the church of St. Mary at the hill of Entoto. It houses tremendous treasure of religious and historical values. Many of the museum objects are related to the reign of Menelik II, the Battle of Adowa and the Ethiopian Orthodox church. There are also many donations from aboard and prominent personalities of Ethiopia including the great runners. Among the exhibits are the drum the at announce the march to Adowa against Ialian invasion, the bed of Menelik II used in Ankober and ceremonial clothes of Emperor Menlik II and Queen Taitu.
Zoological Natural History Museum
It is located within the compound of the Science Faculty, Addis Ababa University and was established 1955. The Zoological Natural Museum, the only one of its kind in Ethiopia. Dedicated to house samples of the rich Ethiopian wild life. It is known that 30 species of mammals, 28 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and 10% of fish species are endemic to Ethiopia. You find here 52 species of rodents, 36 species of bats, 8 species of hoofed mammals (ungulates), 20 species of carnivores, 8 species of primates, 450 species of birds, 50 species of snakes, 35 species of lizard (frogs and toads) and 52 species of fish and a diverse collection of invertebrates (lower animals). It also serves as a center for research on the flora (plant species) of Ethiopia.
Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES)
It is found within the main campus of Addis Ababa University (Sidsit Kilo), in the old palace (Genet Leul) of the late Emperor Haile Selassie I. It is found on the first and second floors of the building.
It consists of five sections:-
1. Ethnological or Material Culture
2. Art Gallery
4. Philatelic, and
5. Coins and Bank Notes collections.
Ba’eta St. Mary Museum
It was built in 1911 by the order of Empress Zewditu Menelik and is usually known as the Menelik II Mausoleum. Located inside the compound of Emperor Menelik’s Palace. It is housed in the underground crypt of Ba’eta St. Mary Museum ( A church within the compound of the Grand Palace) It houses the remains of Menelik II, Empress Taitu, Empress Zawditu, Abuna Mateos, the Archbishop who crowned Menelik, and Princess Tsehai, daughter of Emperor Haile Sellassie I. The museum displays a number of precious treasures including the chair Emperor Menelik used while attending Mass in the church, a golden cross that belonged to Abune Kerilos of Alexandrea, a prayer stick of Empress Zewditu and a palm leaves made out of iron sheet and sent by the French President in condolence of Menelik’s death.
Addis Ababa Museum
Established in October 1986 the Addis Ababa Museum Located on the southern side of Meskel Square on the road to Bole International Airport. Its establishment was related to the celebration of the centennial anniversary of the foundation of Addis Ababa as a capital city. It is housed in old house of the residence of Ras Biru Wolde Gabriel, War Minister of Menelik II. It is primarily a photographic museum depicting the historical, political, economic and social progress of the city since its foundation. Unique photographs, artifacts and works of prominent artists are on display. The museum collections are targeted to show the historical, political, economic and social developments of the city since its foundation. It is also intended to help researcher in their study on various aspects of Addis Ababa. It has six chambers, namely, Fine hall, edget hall, Adwa hall, Handicrafts hall, Modern art hall and the future vision hall. Each of the chambers has its own distinctive displays.
St. George Cathedral Museum
This museum is located inside the precincts St. George’s Church around the Piazza. Relatively speaking, the museum, which is under the church’s bell tower, is small. It was established in 1990 with the intention of preserving and passing on to future generations the ecclesiastical wealth of the Ethiopian Orthodox Churh It contains several valuable historical relics, and is open for public visit every day. Inside the museum, one can see differently shaped crosses, religious books, parchments, vestments of religious leaders as well as handicraft products.
The Ethiopian Postal Museum
It is located on the ground floor of the Post office building It maintains all samples of the Ethiopian stamps from 1894 until the present time In addition, it displays sample stamps form other Universal Postal Union members.
Old Historical Buildings in Addis Ababa
A brief account of the presence of foreign communities in Addis Ababa since the time of Menelik will help to understand and identify the different cultural influences that have contributed to the city’s architecture.
The Armenians, Indian (specially Indian-Muslims), and Greek community influences on the architecture style highly visible on the old part of the city; Arat Kilo, Amist Kilo, Sidist Kilo, and Pissa.
Addis Ababa is a museum of many historic houses. Some of them dated to the establishment of Addis Ababa itself. Many of them had been residences of the most well known personalities and the rest are public institutions. The following are the among the popular old house in Addis Ababa;
Located at Piassa near to the National lottery The first modern hotel in the country built in 1907 and owned by Queen Taitu, was also known as Etegue Hotel. It still serves as a hotel Designed by the Armenian Minas Kherbekian The building’s present design is still the original and is characterized by a two-tier roof and by verandas running all round the two floors.
The Residence of Ras Biru Wolde Gabreiel
Originally, it was the residence of Ras Biru, Defense Ministre of Menelik II Now, it is served as a museum and known as Addis Ababa Museum
The Residence of Illg (Swiss Engineer and famous advisor of Menelik II)
Located around Sheik Khojele village It was used as a school before the foundation of Menelik II school at Arat Kilo It was also used as a residence of Illg
Residence of Bitwoded Haile Giorgis
Situated near Menelik II square in Pissa It was the residence of Bitwoded Haile Giorgis Agidew, Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs during the reign of Menelik II. It was also used as the first municipality. At present, it is used as the court of Arada district
The Residence of Sheik Khojele
It was use as the Residence of Sheik Khojele, governer of Assosa Region in the time of Menelik II. It is foundat Gulele city-centre and currently part of the house serve as school.
The Residence Dejach Wube Atnafsege
It was used as the residence of Dejach Wube Atnafsege, one of the Emperor Menlik great officials It was also served as a military head quarter during the Italian five years occupation. At present, it is used as a restaurant and known as Addis Ababa Restaurant
Menelik II School
It was the 1st modern school in Ethiopia, built in 1908. At present, the school retains its former name and is used as a senior secondary school.
Menelik II Hospital
It is the first hospital in the country It was built in the place where members of the Red Cross Association camped to treat the Ethiopia war victims during the battle of Adowa.
Addis Ababa has several parks. The following are the major ones that are worth visiting. Africa Park between Hilton, Presidents Palace and the old Gebbi is the latest of those.
Along Africa Avenue, usually called Bole road, there is Bole-printing house. Just in front of this printing house, there is Peacock Restaurant. Behind this Restaurant, you find Peacock Park. Many brides and grooms choose this park to organize their wedding ceremony. If you go to this park on weekends, you can witness Ethiopian traditional wedding ceremony free of charge. In the vicinity of this park, there is also a newly opened park called Tropicana. Paying a visit to both parks will indeed be worthwhile.
Hamle 19 Park
Located off the Entoto road to the U.S Embassy, the park lies on many acres of land covered by green trees. If you feel like enjoying yourself in a densely forested park, make Hamle 19 park your choice. the park used to serve as Empress Menen’s (Haile Selassie’s wife) retreat within the city during the imperial days. Nationalized in 1975, its main use now is as a site for engagements and weddings.
Have you ever seen a live lion within a few meters’ distance? If you have not, come to this park, where you can see graceful caged lions devouring large chunks of meat and where you can take your pictures standing beside them. This small but captivating park is located a few hundred meters down from the Addis Ababa University Sidest Kilo campus.
Bihere Tsige Park
This park, off the Debreziet road, is the oldest open herbarium in the city (country). Lying on 400,000 sq meters of fertile ground, it harbours both indigenous and exotic flowers, shrubs, and trees. During the reign of Haile Selasse, it served as practically the sole picturesque setting for photo sessions of newly wedded couples on their wedding day. Nationalized in 1975 by the military regime, it fell in to decline and disuse, and has not recovered its former glory, while new ones, although on a smaller scale, have mushroomed all over Addis.
Around Addis Ababa
Adadi Mariam Rock-Hewn Church Tiya
A pleasant drive south of Addis 38 kms is Adadi Mariam, a 13th century rock-hewn church that is Ethiopia’s southernmost church of its type. The rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam, is much like the Lalibela churches and the locals believe it to have been built on King lalibela orders on his visit to Mount Zuqwala in 1106. The church was damaged during the wars with Ahmed Gragn in the 16th century, but was reopened in the time of Menelik II.
Not far away is the historical site of Tiya with its enigmatic field of stelae adorned by unusual engravings. Tiya has been named one of Ethiopia’s seven UNESCO “World Heritage Sites.”
Debre Libanos Church & Portuguese Bridge
Drive 110 kms north from Addis over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot. Overlooking Jemma River Gorge, a tributary of the Blue Nile, the Monastery owns ecclesiastical, cultural and historical relics, and boasts a rare grove of trees that have disappeared from elsewhere in the region. Drive to a 16th Century Bridge still in use today and said to have been built by Portuguese.
Menagesha Forest & Addis Alem Mariam Church
Menagesha Forest is a jewel to have near the city where mammal species such as the duiker, colobus monkey and endemic Menelik bushbuck can be seen. Bird life is abundant in this densely wooded area where Rougets’ rail, blue-winged goose and black-headed siskin are among Ethiopian endemics to be noted while taking a leisurely walk. This is followed by a drive to visit the Addis Alem Mariam Church, originally built as Menelik’s palace and known for it’s murals. The church owns many important relics and artifacts bequeathed to it by the Emperor which are on display in the Church museum.
Addis Alem Mariam Church & Wonchi Crater Lake
Drive 35 kms west of Addis to visit the Addis Alem Mariam Church. Proceed driving to Ambo and then to the village of Wonchi where you will enjoy a trek down to the shore of the Crater Lake. By boat, reach an interesting church found on the island.
Debre Berhan & Ankober
130 kms northeast of Addis lies one of the oldest towns in the country, Debre Berhan. After visiting Debre Berhan Selassie Church where many interesting historical relics are kept, drive to the nearby town Ankober, birthplace of Emperor Menelik II. Ankober is situated on the edge of the escarpment and offers an extraordinary view of the region.
Mount Zuqualla Monastery & Crater Lakes of Debre Zeit
Drive south from Addis to Mount Zuqualla to visit the Zuqualla Monastery. Situated at the top of the mountain, the Crater Lake is surrounded by beautiful woods and considered to be holy. Take in the birds, plant life and scenery as you make a drive around the Debre Zeit Crater Lake region.
Melka-Kunatre archeological site and Tiya steales
The Melkam-Kunture Prehistoric Site lies near the Awash River Gorge is one of the most important archeological sites in Ethiopia, where hand axes and various other implements have been found. Tiya is a UNESCO heritage, where of a peculiar type of engraved, grave marking standing stelae, believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries stand. Remains of young people aged between 18 – 30 have been discovered here which had been buried in fetal positions.