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Gondar – the Fortified City

In 16–17th century, this fortified city used to be the residential town of Emperor Fasilides of Ethiopia and his successors. It is surrounded by the walls the length of which amounts to 900 meters, and inside them palaces, churches, monasteries, public utility buildings and private houses can be found.


All of them have been erected in a unique style, combining Indian and Arabian influences with the Baroque ones brought here by missionaries – the Jesuit fathers.

The majority of the churches in Gondar were fallen in victim to destruction during the invasion of the followers of Mahdi from Sudan. Among the surviving churches, the one which is particularly enchanting is the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, decorated with the fresco paintings of outstanding beauty.

In Gondar, what is worth seeing is Fasilides Baths, situated approximately 2 kilometers from the center. This two-storey building, situated on the bottom of a pool, dug-out in the ground, was probably the residence of Emperor.

The entire edifice is surrounded by a wall made of stones. Gondar is a traditional starting point for excursions into the most popular trekking region in Ethiopia, the Simien Mountains.


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