Thirdeyemom

Ethiopia’s Enchanting St. George Cathedral

Tucked away in the heart of the Piazza, the old Italian district of Addis Ababa, lies the enchanting St. George Cathedral, one of Addis’ most beloved treasures. The St. George Cathedral was commissioned by Emperor Menelik II to commemorate his extraordinary defeat of the Italians who fought to take over Ethiopia in 1896. The victory marked a huge success for Ethiopia. The nation was able to retain their sovereignty and today remains one of the few countries in Africa that has never been colonized.

The church was designed by Greek, Armenian and Indian artists and completed in 1911 named in the honor of St. George, the patron saint of Ethiopia, whose relic was actually carried in the 1896 battle against the Italians in Adwa.

Today, St. George cathedral and its museum are important places for Orthodox Christians and tourists alike to visit. While the outside of the cathedral is rather striking in its neoclassical, octagon-shaped structure, the inside is a true delight of brilliant stained-glass windows, colorful religious paintings and carpets. The museum next door holds some of the ancient relics of the church where the Empress Zewditu and Emperor Haile Selaisse were crowned.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

The glorious St. George cathedral’s neoclassical design is shaped in an octagon that covers the grounds.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

The top of the church.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa EthiopiaSt. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Inside the church, is a peaceful solitary oasis from the hectic, chaotic energy of Addis Ababa. The stained glass windows and religious artwork are breathtaking.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

 

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Outside the cathedral, people were relaxing with friends and reading quietly on benches around the lovely square. I loved the gorgeous blooming trees that reached for as far as the eye could see.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

The museum is small and quirky but an interesting place to see.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Entering the museum which holds relics such as crowns, clothing and crosses from past emperors.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

As you leave the tranquility of St. George’s cathedral and step out in the Piazza, there are vendors selling their wares, cafes and restaurants reminding you of the Italian influence. A stop at the famous Tomoca cafe is a must for perhaps the best expresso in all of Addis.

St. George Cathedral Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee

This post is inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic. To see more entries, click here.

I was in Ethiopia in June as a reporting fellow with the International Reporting Project. To see all my stories from the trip, click here

19 comments

    • Thanks Amy! Yes, Ethiopia is indeed the birthplace of coffee and it is THE BEST coffee I’ve ever had hands down anywhere. Sorry Paris, I always loved your coffee, but the Ethiopian coffee was magical. They even do a traditional coffee ceremony in homes where they roast the beans on a small fire, and prepare the freshest strongest brew I’ve ever had. Mmmmmm.

    • Thanks! I loved the trip. I’ve already written several posts about it but am not done as it was truly an eye-opening experience. As a mother too who has given birth it was hard to see the circumstances many of these women have in pre and postnatal care. Very eye-opening. I really loved Ethiopia and now am craving to see and explore more of Africa. The wanderlust will never stop!

    • Thanks Sylvia! I thought it was lovely. I enjoy seeing churches which is funny as I’m not really religious. But usually they are so beautiful and so peaceful.

  1. I am so enjoying your reflections on Ethiopia and learning new things with every one of your posts. It appears to be quite the land of contrasts. I never knew that Ethiopia is the only African nation that was never colonized. Thanks, Nicole.

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