The Castles of Gondar

The city of Gondar is 700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa. It was founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1635. The Gondar Castles were world heritage designated in 1979. The Fasil Ghebbi enclosure contains six castles in the heart of the city.

The city was Ethiopia\'s capital until the reign of the would-be reforming Emperor Tewodros II, also known as Theodore. Gondar is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. The earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is possible to climb its stairs all the way to the roof, which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city. Besides the famous palaces, visitors can inspect the so-called \"Bathing Palace of Emperor Fasilidas\" which is used for the annual Timket or Epiphany celebrations.

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