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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2013, 11:26 AM
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ETHIOPIA (5): Axum

My final stop on my Ethiopia trip took me to the far north to Axum (or Aksum).

My previous threads took me to the South
The Omo Valley (1) and (2)
Lalibela

Axum is an incredible place, very different from the other parts of Ethiopia that I saw. Like Lalibela, it is part of the classic historical circuit of the Christian north of the country. However, it is in the Tigray region, which is culturally very distinct. They speak their own language, and have a lot in common culturally with neighbouring Eritrea (it really is very close to the border).

The city was once the centre of the Axumite empire, which stretched across the Red Sea encompassing parts of what is now Yemen. Axum is also a religiously significant holy city. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, in which lie the Tablets of Law upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed.

All in all, the atmosphere of Axum was very interesting. It certainly felt as if you are getting close to the Arabic world (compared with the far south of Ethiopia which felt very stereotypically African). The surrounding landscape is stunning, and again, very different from even Lalibella which is not so far as the crow flies.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the final instalment of my Ethiopia travels.


























































































































































IMG_4156157157 by Alexander Macfarlane, on Flickr































































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Old Posted Sep 1, 2013, 1:37 PM
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Man, they sure are crazy about their christianity there. I would love to visit someday. You should make a book on etheopia or something for real.
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Old Posted Sep 1, 2013, 6:13 PM
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Wonderful thread - a real education.
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Old Posted Sep 1, 2013, 10:17 PM
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Amazing thread. Gorgeous people.

Don't they claim that the Ark of the Covenant is being kept in that church?
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2013, 2:29 PM
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Formidable pictures, Xander202! Thanks for sharing, once more, your pics of that unknown but nice country called Ethiopia.

Axum is amazing too. Your people, street markets and landscapes photos are outstanding. Incredible work!

Congrats and greetings from Madrid, Spain.
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Old Posted Sep 2, 2013, 9:05 PM
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Incredible.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2013, 3:46 AM
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this is very interesting. ive heard of a piece of the ark in a church in axum on some cable tv show. they wouldnt let anyone in to see. what a strangely beautiful, stark part of the world.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2013, 5:06 AM
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At the risk of sounding patronizing, I think these people are beautiful.

Photolith, a lot of the people you see are Muslim.
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2013, 6:56 AM
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what fantastic photos! face pics are always the best.

I'm surprised to see the Lady of Guadalupe make a cameo on those Christian murals. I thought that was just a latin american thing..
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty van Reddick View Post

Photolith, a lot of the people you see are Muslim.
Actually that's not true. Pretty much everyone in these photos are Christian. The white gowns that look somewhat like hijabs are in fact Croatian women. I was fortunate to witness the Timkat (the epiphany according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church) celebrations. The gowns are part of their celebratory attire.

In addition, a lot of the hats the men wear look Muslim but are actually traditional Tigrayan dress. They are also in fact Christians.
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Old Posted Sep 4, 2013, 2:17 PM
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Facinating! Excellent photos too. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Posted Sep 6, 2013, 8:22 PM
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Excellent photo thread!
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2013, 6:33 PM
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Thanks for the comments everyone
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Old Posted Sep 13, 2013, 1:03 AM
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Beautiful people, landscapes and just an all around fascinating place. Thanks for sharing these.
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Old Posted Sep 13, 2013, 2:04 AM
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exceptional and stunning! thanks
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Old Posted Sep 13, 2013, 7:14 PM
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Ameseginalehu! Such an excellent photo spread. Bravo! I really need to get back to Gonder soon.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 6:55 AM
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This is a very nice thread. Beautiful everything. I'm thirsty now.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 1:07 AM
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So where exactly do all of those people live? It looks like there's a lot of people but barely any buildings... just a lot of desert landscape.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 3:39 AM
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This was incredible. Like looking at National Geographic photos of a place you never knew existed before. I could study them all day long. Amazing work.
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2013, 6:19 AM
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Xander, excellent photos!

Did you have a chance to visit the churches dug into the ground?
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