900-Year-Old Church Carved Downward Into A Huge Rock In Ethiopia (Photos) - Binnabook Magazine

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900-Year-Old Church Carved Downward Into A Huge Rock In Ethiopia (Photos)

 The church is located in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia, some 645 km from Addis Ababa, and what is interesting about the church, it was carved downward into a rock.


The church was carved from a type of limestone called tufa and the sole building material used in the structure.


It has been dated to the late 12th century AD, and thought to have been constructed during the reign of King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, of the late Zagwe dynasty.



The church of St. George stands proud in a 25m by 25m wide pit that is carved out of solid volcanic rock.


The construction of the church involved excavating a free-standing block of stone out of the bed-rock and then removing all the waste material from around it.


The stone masons then carefully chiseled away the church outline, shaping both the exterior and interior of the building as they went.


They fashioned a simple yet exceptionally beautiful cruciform structure approximately 12m high.


The shapes are perfect and accurate.




Nobody knows the equipment used to carve or construct the church or how long the construction took.


No one knows for sure if the Church of Saint George was completed in Lalibela’s lifetime, or if it was constructed after he died in an attempt to honor his legacy.


The cross-shaped stone church has been a popular site for Christian pilgrims since it was first constructed many centuries ago.


Lalibela’s sunken network of stone churches appear impossible to access to the untrained eye, but a keen observer will note that there is a small man-made entrance that grants access to the holy stone structures.


Countless Christian pilgrims dressed in white have flocked to the Church of Saint George to pray and express their commitment to their unwavering Christian faith.



Many years ago, st George church became UNESCO world heritage site.


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