The giant cliffs and magnificent rock formations of Mount Gheralta found in northern Ethiopia will take your breath away with its stunning landscape. The natural allure, stone-built villages and rock-hewn churches are definitely worth visiting.
The Gheralta Mountains is found in Tigray region and incorporates more than 30 ancient churches dating back to the 9th to 12th centuries. The place has the largest concentration of cliff churches in Ethiopia often having colorful paintings and church treasures, while many are set in the most stunning scenic landscapes. Gheralta is a steep 1,200 feet sandstone formation raising up from the flat farmer’s land. On the north of Gheralta, there is another massive mountain called Agame which creates spectacular views where travellers and explorers can spot a variety of wildlife ranging from Gelada baboons to topical birds.
Located high up in the mountains, Gheralta requires adventurous hiking up the canyons and the cliff edges. This is done without any rope with the help of the local guides who are familiar with the terrains. They lead the way walking effortlessly along the mountain edges without paying attention to staggering height. Legend has it that, the rock-hewn churches in Gheralta were built on top of the mountains because priests were looking for isolated places for meditation.
The nearest cliff church, Maryam Korkor was carved from the mountain’s rock and portrays unique artworks which keeps art-loving travelers captivated by the paintings within the. The next church, Abuna Yemata Guh is considered as holy place which requires climbing barefooted. This actually helps to better grip the mountain holes allowing for an easy journey to the church. The entrance to the churches are hidden behind a rock and large trees. The inside is just as spectacular as the outside setting. The immense plateau of Gheralta is truly magnificent. On top of the mountain, there are houses tunneled from the rock and most of the residents are Coptic priests who administer the churches. Isolated from the life on the ground, the priests perform animal farming and cultivation up in the hill to provide themselves with daily meals.
Surrounded by rocks, the dazzling church architecture is a wonder to behold. It’s pleasantly serene space with several clutch of hotels and lodges on the ground and at the hill. Jovago.com offers you the option of choosing among the many in just one click enjoying the uncommon natural beauty and the rarely seen architectural masterpieces of the place.