Christianity has a long and rich tradition in Africa, especially in Ethiopia, where the religion was originally introduced all the way back in the 1st century AD. This makes it one of the first countries in the world to embrace Christianity, alongside Armenia.
That is why there are some incredibly old and beautiful churches in Ethiopia as well as other African nations. All of them well worth exploring if you have an interest in religion, culture or architecture. Let’s now take a look!
5. Lalibela: Ethiopia, 12th century:
Bete Abba Libanos – Lalibela – Image credit to Bernard Gagnon – CC BY-SA 3.0
The Lalibela church complex in Ethiopia may not be the oldest in Africa, but it is still very old, and probably the best known around the world. Containing 11 churches in all, the site was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage registry back in 1978.
Lalibela is remarkable because of the way in which the churches were constructed. Each church is set in the ground, because they were excavated directly out of it. The workers did not actually build anything per se—they dug down into the volcanic tuff rock, carving the structure of the churches from what was already there. They then hollowed them out so that they would have functional interiors. There are no other structures like these anywhere on the planet, built from the ground down instead of the ground up.
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