Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gonder, Ethiopia

 Gonder is in the Amhara region. 
The national language Amharic originated here.
It is 2133m above sea level (6998')
It was the capital of Ethiopia and has several royal castles including those in Faisal Ghebbi.

The city was founded in 1635.
Prior to that the Solomonic emporers of Ethiopia (the descendants of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon)  usually had no fixed capital  and roved the countryside living in tents and ate surplus crops and cut down trees for firewood. 
In the time of the Queen of Sheba the capital was Aksum in the north.

The royal enclosure built by Emporer Fasilides and his family is known as the Camelot of Africa.

The majority of the people in Gonder are Ethiopian orthodox Christians.
There was a large population of Ethiopian Jews who migrated to Israel in the 20th century.
They are believed to have descended from the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

When Italy conquered Ethiopia in 1936 catholic missionaries established a Latin Catholic Apostolic prefecture which was suppressed in 1951.
During the Second World War mUssolinis Italian forces made their last stand in Gonder in November 1941 and Italian guerrilla activity against the British continued until 1943.
On 31 July 2016 there were major protests in Gonder. One of the reasons was a protests about Amharic land being taken by the government for the Tigray region to the north. 
There is a large university population in the city. A medical school and various teacher education, tourism and other tertiary programmes.
Students we met seemed to be well equips with mobile phones and computers. Such a contrast to the majority of people we came across on the road.

Happy tourists.
Emporer Fasilides castle.

Coptic Orthodox Church services can be long. Worshippers use a prayer stick as they stand throughout the services.he language used in scripture and by the priests is Ge'ez which is not understood or spoken by people outside the priest hood.
Hannah a medical student studying the quiet near a church.

The four sisters who began the Four sisters restaurant at five years ago. A lovely lunch in a peaceful setting.
This burned out bus is a remnant of the political protests that began in Gonder on 31July. It is just around the corner from our accommodation.
Two nursing students
A Coptic priest.

Ethiopian food.

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