Menu





Adsense

Adsense

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Axum::Ancient City in Ethiopia_Part_3_Last


Main sights

The major Aksumite monuments in the town are stelae. These obelisks are around 1,700 years old and have become a symbol of the Ethiopian people's identity. The largest number are in the Northern Stelae Park, ranging up to the 33-metre-long (3.84 metres wide, 2.35 metres deep, weighing 520 tonnes) Great Stele, believed to have fallen and broken during construction. The Obelisk of Axum (24.6 metres high, 2.32 metres wide, 1.36 metres deep, weighing 170 tonnes) was removed by the Italian army in 1937, and returned to Ethiopia in 2005 and reinstalled July 31, 2008. This stele was already broken into pieces before being shipped. The next tallest is the 24-metre (20.6 metres high above the front baseplate, 2.65 metres wide, 1.18 metres deep, weighing 160 tonnes) King Ezana's Stele. Three more stelae measure 18.2 metres high, 1.56 metres wide, 0.76 metres deep, weighing 56 tonnes; 15.8 metres high, 2.35 metres wide, 1 metres deep, weighing 75 tonnes; 15.3 metres high, 1.47 metres wide, 0.78 metres deep, weighing 43 tonnes. The stelae are believed to mark graves and would have had cast metal discs affixed to their sides, which are also carved with architectural designs. The Gudit Stelae to the west of town, unlike the northern area, are interspersed with mostly 4th century tombs.

The other major feature of the town are the Old and New Cathedrals of St Mary of Zion. The Old St Mary of Zion Cathedral was built in 1665 by Emperor Fasilides and said to have previously housed the Ark of the Covenant. The original cathedral, said to have been built by Ezana and augmented several times after was believed to have been massive with 12 naves. It was burned to the ground by Gudit, rebuilt, and then destroyed again during the Gragn wars of the 1500s. It was again rebuilt by Emperor Gelawdewos (completed by his brother and successor Emperor Minas) and Emperor Fasilides replaced that structure with the present one. Only males are permitted entry into the Old St. Mary's Cathedral (some say as a result of the destruction of the original church by Gudit). The New Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion stands next to the old one, and was built to fulfill a pledge by Emperor Haile Selassie to the Our Lady of Zion for the liberation of Ethiopia from the Fascist occupation. Built in a neo-Byzantine style, work on the new cathedral began in 1955, and allows admittance to women. Emperor Haile Selassie interrupted the state visit of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to travel to Axum to attend the dedication of the new Cathedral and pay personal homage, showing the importance of this church in the Ethiopian Empire. The Queen visited the Cathedral a few days later. Between the two cathedrals is a small chapel known as The Chapel of the Tablet built at the same time as the new cathedral, and which is believed to house the Ark of the Covenant. Emperor Haile Selassie's consort, Empress Menen, paid for its construction from her private funds. Admittance to the chapel is closed to all but the guardian monk who resides there. Entrance is even forbidden to the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, and to the Emperor of Ethiopia during the monarchy. The two cathedrals and the chapel of the Ark are the focus of pilgrimage and considered the holiest sites in Ethiopia to members of its Orthodox Church.
Other attractions in Axum include archaeological and ethnographic museums, the Ezana Stone written in Sabaean, Ge'ez and Ancient Greek in a similar manner to the Rosetta Stone, King Bazen's Tomb (a megalith considered to be one of the earliest structures), the so-called Queen of Sheba's Bath (actually a reservoir), the 4th-century Ta'akha Maryam and 6th-century Dungur palaces, the monasteries of Abba Pentalewon and Abba Liqanos and the Lioness of Gobedra rock art.
Local legend claims the Queen of Sheba lived in the town.

Climate

Demographics
According to Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), as of July 2012 (est.) the town of Axum's population was 56,576. The census indicated that 30,293 of the population were females and 26,283 were males. The 2007 national census showed that the town population was 44,647, of whom 20,741 were males and 23,906 females). The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 88.03% reporting that as their religion, while 10.89% of the population were Muslim.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this city of 27,148, of whom 12,536 were men and 14,612 were women. The largest ethnic group reported was the Tigrayan (98.54%) and Tigrinya was spoken as a first language by 98.68%. The majority of the population practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity with 85.08% reported as embracing that religion, while 14.81% were Muslim.
Aksum University
Axum University was established in Axum in May 2006 on a greenfield site, four kilometers (2.45 miles) from the town center; the inauguration ceremony was held on 16 February 2007. The current area of the campus is 107 hectares, with ample room for expansion.[citation needed] The establishment of a university in Axum is expected to contribute much to the ongoing development of the country in general and of the region in particular.

 


No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

FeedBurner FeedCount

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Adsense

Share with Freinds...

Followers