Tour to Gondar - Ethiopia Tours

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alt Gondar is truly a unique destination. Located in North of Ethiopia, the city of Gondar was founded by Emperor Fasilides around the year 1635 and grew as agricultural and market town. In 1668, as a result of a church council,the Emperor Yohannes I ordered that the inhabitants of Gondar be segregated by religion.


This caused the Muslims to move into their own quarter, Islamge or Islam Bet within 2 years. This quarter came to be known as Addis Alem. Many of the buildings from this period survived despite the turmoil of the eighteenth century. By the reign of Iyasu the Great, Gondar had acquired a sense of community identity; when the Emperor called upon the inhabitants to decamp and follow him on his campaign against The Oromo in Damot and Gojjam as had the court and subjects of earlier emperors, they refused.

The town served as Ethiopia’s capital until Tewodros II moved the Imperial to Magadala upon being crowned Emperor in 1855. As a city it was plundered and burnt in 1864 and devasted again in December 1866 and once again  on 23 January in the next year when Sudanese invaders set fire to almost every Gondar’s churches. After the conquest of Ethiopia by the Kingdom of Italy in 1936, Gondar was developed under Italian occupation. In the Second World War, Italian made their last stand in Gondar in November 1941 after Addis Ababa fell into British forces six months before. Gondar was one of the main centres of activity of Italian guerilla against the British forces until summer 1943.

Gondar Main attractions:

 

The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist attraction for its many picturesque ruins in the Royal Enclosure, from which the emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal enclosure, which include Fasilides castle, Iyasu’s palace, Dawit’s Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Mentewab’s castle, a chancellery, library and three churches. Near the city lie Fasiladas’ Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing; the eighteenth century Ras Mikael Sehul’s Palace and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church.


Downtown Gondar shows the influence of the Italian occupation of the late 1930s. The main Piazza features shops, a cinema, and other public buildings in a simplified Italian modern style still distinctively of the period despite later changes and neglect. Villas and flats in the nearby quarter that once housed occupation officials and colonists are also interest.