"QOUSQUAM CASTLE" Top 5 Page for this destination Gonder Things to Do Tip by Elisabcn
Gonder Things to Do: 49 reviews and 122 photos
The construction of this residential complex on the hills, at 4km north west of the city, is attributed to Queen Mentwab. Some texts say that the widow empress (her husband was murdered by his enemies) decided to build this castle to escape from the court’s intrigues and conspiracies. Other texts say that Mentwab was very keen of young boys and this castle allowed her to stay far from the court’s gossip. I prefer the “castle of love” version which is more folkloric ;-)
You arrive to the complex through a steep and unpaved path. People enter the surrounding wall from the west and the first thing that one can see is a modern round church without any indications so some visitors can get confused. Go on walking and behind the church you will see some distinct Gonder structures (picture 2). The complex was damaged by British bombing but you still can distinguish a chapel, the castle and the queen’s rooms. The most beautiful building is the palace, where banquets and receptions took place (picture 1). There is nothing inside and some restoration /reconstruction works are in progress but its main façade is very interesting with some decoration made with volcanic tuff (picture 3). Ask the guardian to open the oratory for you: inside the skeletons of Queen Mentwab, her son and grandson will greet you (picture 4).
The visit of both Qousquam Castle and Fasiladas’ Baths can be a nice excursion from the city centre that will keep you busy for few hours. If you are in a hurry or it is very hot, contract a rickshaw in Gonder but be sure that the driver knows the way: Fasiladas’ Baths are well known by locals but Qousquam castle is a little off the beaten path. Be also ready to jump out the rickshaw from time to time on the way to Qousquam: some parts of the path are really steep! (picture 5)
Elisabcn's Related Pages
Have you been to Gonder?Share Your Travels