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Tours to Debre Libanos and Jemma Gorge

Debre Libanos Monastery is located north west to the capital of Ethiopia – Addis Abeba.

Duration: 1 or 2 Days

For Ethiopians, it is one of most important religious objects in the whole country. Its founder, Saint Tekele Daymont contributed to the abdication of Zagwe dynasty, believed to be usurpers, and to return of emperors being offspring of king Salomon. He also contributed to spreading the Christian religion in south Ethiopia. He was canonized for his service. Originally, the temple did not survive until today. Modern church was funded in 1961 by Emperor Haile Selasie.

According to the legend, Father Tekle Haymanot prayed for 29 years in the cave in the canyon of the lake Jemma. Nowadays, the cane is a target of many pilgrims, and water from its water is believed to be holy. The road from monastery to the cave takes up to 5 minutes. The leader of the monastery – abbot is after the patriarch the second most important cleric of the Ethopian Orthodox Church.

The gorge of the River Jemma is very picturesque – the river is an inflow for Blue Nile. Especially worth-seeing is a rock bridge called Portuguese. Portuguese, because according to many sources it was built by Portuguese people residing in Ethiopia in XVII century. It is not truth. The construction was built as an order from local magnates. The real Portuguese Bridge connects shores of Blue Nile near Bahyr Daru. The wrong terminology does not reduce the beauty of the construction. It is worth to wait a while for gelada baboons to walk on it – endemic monkeys of Ethiopia. They live on a cliff that is a gorge of River Jemma. The surroundings of the monastery are a great place to observe birds.

There is a great asphalt road from Addis Abeba to Debre Libanos. The journey takes around two hours which makes it possible to take a trip within one day. A good place for dinner and accommodation is Ethio – German Lodge.


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