Mekele Travel Guide

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Mekelle University

Mekelle University

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Mekele is a small and culturally rich town famous for its churches and enchanting desert landscape. This guide gives a preview of this fascinating town along with things to do and accommodation choices to consider.   

Description and History

Mekele is situated in Enderta and is the capital of the Tigray Territory. The unassuming town is a reservoir of rock-hewn church edifices with charmingly adorned streets. The humongous desert landscape that envelops Tigray attracts a lot of visitors for its sheer natural appeal. It is also the prime economic and knowledge hub of Ethopia. The history of this extraordinary town dates back to the 13th century when Mekele was one of the most prominent cities in the Enderta province. In the 19 th century Mekele was instantly catapulted into the big league when Yohannes IV, the Emperor of Ethopia crowned the city the capital of his province. The town was under siege during the ‘Woyane Rebellion’ in 1943 and was later rescued by the government. The infamous 1984 famine of Ethiopia saw Mekele coming to the rescue of over seventy-five thousand refugees housed in seven camps.

Places to See

The most iconic monument of Mekele is the structure that celebrates the town’s struggle to resist the rule of the Derg-The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front Monument. The edifice, quite miraculously and strategically, can be spotted from almost any location in town. Another attraction is the palace of King Yohannes IV that is housed within a sprawling complex and doubles up as a museum. This is a storehouse of royal memorabilia that exhibits everything from the emperor’s attire and ammunition to the grand palace furnishings and artifacts. The town is full of quaint and inviting churches that impress you with its meticulous detailing. Some churches worth visiting are Mek'ele Maryam Bete Kristiyan, Enda GabirEnda Yesus, Mek'ele Iyesus Bete Kristiyan and Mek'ele Bete Mengist.

Food and Accommodation

The Pizzas here are also innovative and worth a try. For accomodation, head to Axum Hotel, which a nice, clean place located in the heart of the town or Abreha Castle Hotel-a top rated speciality lodging pick. Hawzien is another decent accommodation option that is preferred for its attentive service and well-maintained rooms.    

Makele is a good visit for its old-fashioned streets, picturesque churches and remains of a rich monarchial legacy.

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