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Ethiopia’s historical places appeal to all types of travellers. This country has numerous gems from historic churches to temples and tombs. Discover the best historical places to visit in Ethiopia below, where you can learn more about the history of this beautiful country.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 2025 Ethiopia ratified the convention as one of the first countries on July 6, 1977, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.

Sites in Ethiopia were first inscribed on the list at the 2nd Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Washington, D.C. in 1978. At that session, two sites were added: the Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela and Simien National Park. As of July 2014, Ethiopia has nine total sites inscribed on the list. Of these, one site, Simien National Park, is of natural type, and the others are cultural sites.

Addis Ababa (Capital City of Ethiopia)

Addis Ababa was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II who moved his capital city from Ankober (a town 175 km. to the northeast) to the top of the Entoto Mountains. Addis Ababa – the “new flower”, was later set at the foot of the Entoto Mountains. It is centrally located within...
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Ancient city of Axum

The northern Ethiopia ancient city of Axum , regarded as the cradle of Ethiopian culture and Christianity, is the country’s oldest extant urban settlement. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an empire that extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with...
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Gondar (African Camelot)

The graceful city of Gondar, embraced with incredibility, was founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635. It is famous for its many medieval castles, (constructed in the European middle age architectural style), and the design and decoration of its churches. An extensive compound,...
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Lalibela (African Petra)

There are no less than 1000 churches in the Lasta Region of Lalibela alone. Some are hidden in enormous caves, while eleven of these master craftsmanship are found in one locale, Lalibela, previously known as Roha. These eleven churches are brilliant feats of engineering and...
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Lake Tana Monasteries

There are 37 islands that are scattered about the surface of Lake Tana, out of which some 20 shelter churches and monasteries of immense historical and cultural interest. These churches are decorated with beautiful paintings and house innumerable treasures. Because of their...
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Walled city of Harar

The ancient walled city of Harar has more than 90 mosques and shrines mixed in with households behind its sixteenth century walls. This city was founded over 1000 years ago, and is considered to be one of the holiest centers of Muslim learning in the Islamic world. Harar, which...
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Sheik Hussein Shrine

Anajina or the site of the Shrine of Sheikh Husein is one of Oromia’s major sites of culture tourism. It is situated on the border of West Harargé and Bale Zones at the southern edge of Web River. It is 178 kilometers far from Robe along the all weather road that passes through...
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