Lalibela Travel Guide

Edit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Bet Giorgis Church

Bet Giorgis Church


If you go to Ethiopia don't miss Lalibela. It's like going to Egypt and not seeing a pyramid. Lalibela has 11 Orthodox churches that are carved out of rock: each church was carved out of a solid piece of red rock, back in the 12th century. The largest church (Medhane Alem) is 30 m long  and 24 m wide and 11 m high. Beta Giorgis (the Church of St. George) is shaped like a cross and surrounded by a 40-ft/12-m trench. Historians say that the churches were built by King Lalibela to mark his conversion to Christianity. Legend says that the churches were completed in 24 years with the help of angels (historians believe it was 100 years and some Egyptians). The churches have beautifully painted facades tunnels and a cloth (in the Pillar of Light Church) upon which Christ was said to have leaned when appearing to King Lalibela in a dream. Built as the king’s own New Jerusalem Lalibela strikes many visitors as one of the most sacred eerily mystical places on Earth particularly during religious festivals when pilgrims arrive in the thousands from around the country. Especially in the month of September, the celebration of Jesus Christ's baptism is considered as one of the most memorible festivals in Lalibela. The event attracts many outside visitors.

The Saturday market is also a marvelous vantage point for observing Ethiopian villagers coming in to trade goats cows cloth and vegetables. For all of its holiness the town itself is rather a squalid fly-plagued place with no telephones or local transport and visitors to the churches are often surrounded by persistent young beggars. Nevertheless Lalibela is a must-see destination.

Ethiopia is one of the places one should visit in a lifetime. If you are interested to travel to ethiopia go visit

Where World66 helps you find the best deals on Lalibela Hotels