The Amazing Monolithic Churches of Ethiopia - The Lalibela
2008 04 09
By Stefan Anitei | news.softpedia.com
Christianity rooted in Ethiopia starting the 4th century. The kingdom of Aksum was at its peak. Ezana, the most illustrious king of this dynasty, chose as counselors two Syrian Christians, Frumentius and Aedesius. The first was invested bishop by the Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, and Aksum turned gradually into a Christian capital connected to the Coptic Church of Egypt. In the 7th century, Muslims conquered Egypt. The Christians of Ethiopia took refuge at Lesta, a mountainous region that made a natural defensive barrier, and placed their capital at Roha.
The Aksum dynasty was replaced, until the 12th century, by the Zagwe dynasty. Amongst the Zagwe neguses (kings), the most famous was Gebre Mesqel Lalibela (who reigned from 1189 to 1229 AD). Before becoming a king, Lalibela had a vision of a church that God demanded him to build. When he took the throne, he transformed his capital, which took his name, Lalibela, into a hidden holly fortress, buried into the ground. The best artisans and artists worked for decades at its edification, inside the mountains, carving and cutting into the stone blocks for realizing some of the most amazing monolith type sanctuaries in the world.
The churches of Lalibela are of three types: chapels built inside a grotto, cut into the wall of a cliff (or abrupt slope), and chapels cut into the ground. Most of them were cut into the ground. First, a quadrilateral groove was dug, then the inner side of the monolith block was emptied of stone. The church was always begun with the top side, by chiseling the roof. The carved stone was a rose-colored tuff. Even if missing a framework and concrete, these churches look like ordinary ones.
This impression is given by colonnades, buttresses, vaults, Roman archways and porticoes. Each element was projected before and cut into the mass of the rock block. A column started from its capital, not from its base.
Chapels are often adorned with frescoes reproducing scenes of the Old and New Testaments. The characters look stone-still, with wide open eyes, many blackened by the smoke of the candles.
All this subterranean edifices, located at an altitude of 2,000 m (6.600 ft), are connected through a labyrinth of corridors and stairs. The largest, so far discovered, is the church dedicated to Jesus: 33.7 m (112.3 ft) long, 23.7 m (79 ft) wide and 11.5 m (38.3 ft) tall. Surrounded by an external colonnade made of square posts, this church looks like a Greek temple. The front has some Roman borders. The interior has five nefs, one narthex, a sanctuary and a sacristy. The main nef has a vault carved like a cradle. The windows resemble hanging crosses.
Biet Mariam (The Church of Saint Mary) is, oppositely, richly decorated with stone roses, frescoes and arabesques, all vividly relating scenes of the Old Testament. Jesus is represented as the Sun. The windows look like Latin, Greek or swastika-like crosses.
The most elegant is the church of Saint George, which has a cross shape and rose, greenish and yellowish hues. It is built like three joined Greek crosses. The inner side is like a cross, but lacking the pillar.
Even today, these churches host a big religious Ethiopian festivity called Timkat (the Showing of God). In the sound of drums and bells, in white-red clothes, a suite of dancing people surrounds the churches. The Ethiopian priests hold the specific bronze crosses. For the Ethiopian Christians this is like the second Jerusalem.
Article from: http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Amazing-
Priest at Lalibela, Ethiopia in St. Giyorgis Church (Bet Giorgis) - Note the Swastika (Sun Cross) inside the big Cross
An Interview With Graham Hancock
They built Petra, but who were the Nabataeans?
Church of St. George, Lalibela
Latest News from our Front Page
Secret Project Created Weaponized Ebola In South Africa In The 1980s
2014 10 21
“No records are available to confirm that the biological agents were destroyed.”
Operating out of South Africa during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s, Dr. Wouter Basson launched a secret bioweapons project called Project Coast. The goal of the project was to develop biological and chemical agents that would either kill or sterilize the black population and assassinate political enemies. ...
Controlling the American Mind: The Viral Liturgical Psychodrama
2014 10 20
In order to successfully navigate the raging sea of media shit storm, one must be ever-mindful of the overall designs of mass media without getting lost in endless details and rabbit trails that will be forgotten in a month. Remember Bowe Bergdahl? Remember how media was furiously researching his back story to make details match-up, all of which ended up ...
People are merging with machines
2014 10 20
Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 - year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s ...
Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday.
USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training:
"For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.
The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises.
The sundial might be "evidence of ...
|More News » |