„Gheralta Mountains, Tigray Province, Ethiopia (Nigel Pavitt)“

from the gallery of John Warburton-Lee Photography

Ethiopia, Tigray Province, Gheralta Mountains. A Priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church reads a very old, beautifully illustrated bible beside the entrance to the rock-hewn church of Yohannes Maequddi. The bible's script is Ge'ez, the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which is comparable to Latin in the Roman Church. Yohannes Maequddi is renowned for its well-preserved paintings and is a two-hour walk from Degum on a plateau of the Gheralta Mountains east of Debretsion. Its access is along a narrow cleft between glaring sandstone. There are two entrance doors, both in the Axumite-style of construction. The main entrance is for men while the secondary entrance to its right is for women. In the fastness of the Gheralta Mountains about thirty rock-hewn churches were built in early Christian times. In all, Tigray- Ethiopia's northern-most region- has more than 120 rock-hewn churches.

Picture ID: ee6787e