These Ethiopian churches located on top of cliffs will either kill you or take you one step closer to God

The rock hewn churches and monasteries were built between the 4th and 15th centuries.

The reading couldn’t be truer than in Ethiopia where over 200 churches are located on top of rocks and cliffs.

Ethiopia is a land full of ancient relics and is home to some of the oldest churches in the world some which have been caved out of rocks.

These impressive churches have been carved out of blocks of solid rock rather than being made of stone blocks cut from a quarry that were later assembled elsewhere.

One of such churches is Abba Yohani church which is located in Tigrai northern region of Ethiopia.

It is Impressively located halfway up a 300m-high sheer cliff face, It sits 13.5km from Abi Adi on the back of the mountain.

It is located near the village of Tembein where life goes on much as it has for the past 1600 years.

This church is reached by a 15-minute climb using steps, tunnels and little bridges.

Abba Yohani monastery was built in the fourth century by Abune Aron Ze Gamche.

Once inside, one is welcome with stunning frescoes inside the churches which are still in extremely good condition thanks to them being hidden in such an inaccessible place of worship.

The rock hewn churches and monasteries were built between the 4th and 15th centuries and painted with frescoes.

It is believed, the Tigrai rock hewn churches were built in high mountain cliffs because they could be easily defended from attacks.

Another church carved into a rock is the Abune Yemata Guh church, which sits 2,500ft above ground and a steep climb, rickety makeshift bridges with no supportive barriers is what one has to contend with to access the church.

It is said the church was carved out by an Egyptian priest who walked all the way from Egypt to Ethiopia.

Families usually make this dangerous climb to bring their newborn babies all the way up to be baptised, while others carry corpses up to be blessed and buried on the mountain.

Should one slip while making the clip, sure death awaits them below.

Another ancient church caved out of rock is the cross-shaped Church of Saint George located in Lalibela.

Local legend has it a boy was born and upon his arrival to the world a swarm of bees, came and buzzed around his head signaling his royal future.

The boy was thus named Lalibela, meaning "the bees recognize his sovereignty."

When Lalibela became king, he embarked on a most ambitious project: the creation of a new Jerusalem in Ethiopia for Christians who could not make the pilgrimage to the original.

The climb up along narrow ledges and across rickety makeshift bridges will humbled you, the narrow path will severely test your faith and ensure you don’t carry any unnecessary luggage and of course the way up will lift your spirits and eyes up to the skies just like the Lord intended.


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