Video: Discovering Axum, Ethiopia


Let's know another reason why Ethiopians are proud of their country's heritage and Ethiopia is an important destination for historical adventure travels in Africa. We suggest you to discover Axum, a city situated in Northerne Ethiopia, which were its capital.

Axum was the centre of the marine trading power known as the Aksumite Empire, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman-era writings. Around 356 CE, its ruler was converted to Christianity by Frumentius. Later, under the reign of the Emperor Kaleb, Axum was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Sasanian Empire which had adopted Zoroastrianism. The historical record is unclear, with ancient church records the primary contemporary sources.

The major Aksumite monuments in the city are steles. These obelisks are around 1,700 years old and have become a symbol of the Ethiopian people's identity. The largest number are in the Northern Stelae Park, ranging up to the 33-metre-long Great Stele, believed to have fallen and broken during construction. The Obelisk of Axum was removed by the Italian army in 1937, and returned to Ethiopia in 2005 and reinstalled July 31, 2008. The next tallest is the 24-metre King Ezana's Stela.  The stelae are believed to mark graves and would have had cast metal discs affixed to their sides, which are also carved with architectural designs. The Gudit Stelae to the west of town, unlike the northern area, are interspersed with mostly 4th century tombs. In 1980, UNESCO added Axum's archaeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites due to their historic value.


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