Debre Damo monastery is located on an cut off mountain within the northern section of Tigray. Just 3 hours drive coming from Axum on the not long ago refurbished road plus an extra hour on foot ascending from the spot where this road ends. (Based on your fitness), then you will find the magnificent monastery of Debre Damo, it’s unique in contrast to the majority of Ethiopian monasteries. the Debre Damo was constructed in the Sixth century AD using curved wood plates, well painted ceilings as well as the walls devoted to the display of Saint Abune Areggawi, actually Debre Damo’s history is key on the 9 Saints who traveled to Ethiopia coming from Syria and various other Europe empires in the Sixth century throughout the rule of Kaleb plus Gebremeskel to broaden Christianity in this country specially the northern section of Ethiopia. Among these Abune Areggawi reached this flat-top mountain to determine as well as dwell on this mountain of Debre Damo
Debre Damo is simply be accessed through climbing up using a rope that is made from animal leather. The rope is lowered from up the cliffs that visitors tie round their waists and then pulled up by gently by a monk who is at the top of this cliff. Only men as well as male animals are permitted here whereas women plus female animals are not allowed to enter
Debre Damo is spectacular with regards to its location as well as comprehensive assortment of priceless manuscripts which have continued to be intact until the current day. It has turned out to be a well known monastic as well as spiritual educational center for the Ethiopian Christianity for hundreds of years, several books plus manuscripts have actually been written and also translated to Ge’ze on clean animal skins and then distributed all over the country.
The monastery obtained its initial archeological examination at the start of the 20th century by E. Littman who in fact led a German dispatch to northern Ethiopia . When David Buxton saw the very old church in the middle of the 1940s, he discovered it “at the verge of collapse” a couple of years later, D.H. Matthews an English architect helped in the renovation of the building, including the reconstruction of one of its stone walls plus wooden walls (a characteristic fashion of Aksumite architecture) in 1955, Thomas Pakenham visited this church and documents a practice that Debre Damo had as well at one time been a royal prison for the heirs to the Ethiopian Emperor, similar to the more well known Wehni plus Amba Geshen. The outside walls of this church were constructed of changing courses of wood plus limestone blocks, “fitted using the projecting stumps which Ethiopians refer to as ‘monkey heads.'” As soon as Pakenham entered inside, he was amazed by what he actually saw!
The church of Debre Damo
Once you get the nave of this church, the entire thrill of the architecture was evident. The stones supporting the piers of the roof were genuine Axumite relics integrated in the Christian structure; whilst the doors plus windows that held the roof were entirely in Axumite style; their draped frames were of the identical design as those found on the obelisks seen back at Axum. However the requirements of the Christian church had generated completely un-Axumite characteristics. Beneath the nave roof a ‘clerestory’ of beautiful wooden windows allow in a shadowy religious light coming from the exterior world. And simply noticeable above the everywhere blinds that surrounded this church in hieratic dimness, was a visible chancel arch that leads to the sanctuary. Everything was very exciting to view, here within this fortress over the squanders of Moslem Africa, attributes thrown in the strong forms of the basilicas of ancient Christendom.