The Amazing Monolithic Churches of Ethiopia - The Lalibela
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
Sweden to give over 8 million euros to Turkey for "refugee deal" - Europe to give three billion euros total
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.
The deal came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a surprise summit in Brussels involving the leaders of nine countries including Sweden, France and the UK.
The European ...
Swedish woman raped by "refugee" refuses to report it because she feels sorry for him
Victim sympathized with rapist's "difficult situation"
A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi “refugee” on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she ‘felt sorry’ for her attacker.
The incident occurred on a night train between Umeå and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the ...
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil sales” -- Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan’s minister for natural resources
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was “caught with IS pants down.” By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS–or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference–terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
|More News » |