Rock-hewn churches of Tigray

Tigray is recognized as the cradle of  ancient Ethiopian civilization. The Yeha temple and the Axumite monolithic stelae testify to this. Numerous archaeological sites underline the long history of the region, where the first Christian state in the world was established in the fourth century. The  old churches of Tigray are  testimony to this history.

There are a large number of rock hewn churches located in severasl different clusters to the north and west of the capital Makale. Many of these churches are located on high cliff faces amidst impressive mountain scenery. Most of the churches are known to have been excavated prior to the 16th century.

Although less well known than the famous Lalibela churches a vist to some of these churches, although very different, is comparable to those of Lalibela

Abreha Atsbeha is one of the outstanding rock hewn churches, found beautifully situated between Wukro and Hawzien. The spacious high barrel-shaped ceiling contains various artful ancient works of art.

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