"The tourist capital of the north" Top 5 Page for this destination Axum by SirRichard

Axum Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 606 photos

The famous stelae

Axum (also known as AKSUM) was once the capital of Axumite Kingdom, from the 1st century AD to the 4th, though now is no more than a little villaget hat lives somehow from the tourists and religious pilgrims.
Maybe the most famous highligts are the stelae fields, specially the great Northern Stelae Park (see pic). It is still a lot to be uncovered in Axum, and some guides even compared the Axumite to the Egyptian civilization!

The ark of the Covenants

One of the main atractives of Axum is to visit the place where it is said that the Ark is kept: the Church of Saint Mary of Zion. After the destruction of the Solomon Temple, and through many travels around, it is widely believed that the famous Ark (yes, that of Indiana Jones and the lost Ark!) ended up here, where a "keeper of the Ark" guards it. The problem is that you have to believe, none is allowed to see the Ark, and none means none except the keeper. Entrance is not allowed, reproductions are forbidden, no images of the Ark are known, so... believe it or not!

Around Axum

Not only the village has historical highlights. If you head northeast there are 2 important places to be seen:
- Yeha's ancient temple
- Debre Damo orthodox Monastery
Both can be seen on a daytrip, though to do this you have to hire a private tour or a 4x4. I did it on public transport, but in 2 days, sleeping in the Debre Damo monastery (women not allowed BTW) and with a guide, because you have to do some trekking to reach Debre Damo.
More info at the Travelogues.

  • Last visit to Axum: Aug 2006
  • Intro Written Feb 24, 2007
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SirRichard

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