Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

The fantastic people of ethiopia.... devotion in lalibela

In the 12th and 13th century, Lalibela was the capital of Ethiopia. It is named after emperor Lalibela, who came back after exile from Jerusalem, overthrew the ruling emperor and started carving 11 churches out of the bedrock
The layout of the churches is designed as a model of Jerusalem proper, there is a river Jordan, a Golgatha mountain etc.
At christmas time, which is in ethiopia on 6th of january, 20.000 pelgrims come to lalibela to celebrate

Some of the pelgrims come on foot, sometimes they walk for weeks to spend a couple of days in the town and in the church complex
Although the ethiopian tradition says that 50.000 angels helped emperor lalibela to built the churches, the writer Graham Hancock in his book "the sign and the seal" claims that the knights of the temple whom lalibela met in Jerusalem actually came with him to ethiopia, helped him overthrow the ruling emperor and build the churches

donation collector with collection box. Only foreign tourists have to pay a hefty entrance fee to visit the churches
A lot of the history of the churches is mysterious. However, there is a column in one of the churches, which is engraved with the story of how the churches were built. Unfortunately, this column is wrapped in clothes, and nobody has ever seen the engravings
the typical attributes of the pelgrim: lunch box, necklace with cross, box for holy books, and walking stick