NATIONAL PARKS SAFARIS ETHIOPIA

HIGHLIGHTS, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO VISIT THEM

Home Up Royal Enclosure Fasilides Bath Mentewab Castle


 

 

 

ROYAL ENCLOSURE, GONDAR

ROYAL ENCLOSURE, GONDER, THE 7 ha CASTLE CITY LOCATED IN FASIL GHEBBI, ETHIOPIA, IS A FORTRESS CITY PROTECTED BY AN EMBATTLEMENTED CURTAIN WALL. Read more....

Royal Enclosture Gondar, Ethiopia

FAMOUS GONDAR CASTLES OF ETHIOPIA, LOCATED IN FASIL GHEBBI, a 7 ha royal enclosure or fortress city protected by an embattlemented curtain wall. This was the residence of Ethiopia's emperors from the 1640s until 1864; today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a testimony to the most advanced sub-Saharan civilization.

 

Why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market. As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eathern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes will be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip for an incredibly low price!

 

From the 13th - 17th centuries, the predecessors of Emperor Fasilides lived in fortified camps, called katama, which they moved continuously through the empire. This custom that was brought to an end by by King Fasilides who declared Gondar as the capital in 1636 and commissioned the building of Fasil Ghebbi, often referred to as the Camelot of Africa.

 

The 900m crenellated wall of the royal enclosure was accessed through 12 gates, 3 with bridges. Each subsequent emperor added a new palace, thus increasing the number of castles, palaces and churches. Eventually Fasil Ghebbi protected the following castles and churches: Fasilides castle - also referred to as Enqulal Gemb (Egg Castle, for its egg-shaped roofs on the towers)-, Iyasu's Palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Mentewab's Castle, a chancellery, library and Asasame Qeddus Mikael, Elfin Giyorgis and Gemjabet Mariyam Church, their architecture showing Arab, Indian, and Baroque styles and influences.

 

Iyasu I, Fasilides' grandson, was was the greatest king of the Gondar period. Supposedly, his castle was finer than the House of Solomon with its walls decorated with ivory, Venetian mirrors and paintings of palms and its ceiling covered with gold-leaf and precious stones.

 

Iyasu became very depressed when his favorite wife died and abandoned affairs of state. His son, Tekla Haimanot, murdered him after declaring himself emperor, but the latter in his turn was killed. His successor was set aside and the next king was killed by poisoning. Emperor Bakaffa finally brought stability and left behind 2 castles, one for himself and another for his wife, the Empress Mentewab. Bakaffa's son, Iyasu II, is was the last Gondar Emperor ruling with full authority.

 

There are excellent English speaking guides who will tell you all about the fabulous history of this fascinating country.

 

For additional reading we highly recommend: Emperors of Ethiopia as well as Palaces of Ethiopia.

 

Fasilides castle - also referred to as Enqulal Gemb (Egg Castle, for its egg-shaped roofs on the towers). 900m crenellated wall or embattlemented wall of the royal enclosure with crenels, merlots, turret and gate.

Fasilides castle - also referred to as Enqulal Gemb (Egg Castle, for its egg-shaped roofs on the towers).

900m crenellated wall of the royal enclosure with crenels, merlots, turret and gate.

   
Overview Royal Enclosure at Gondar.

Overview Royal Enclosure at Gondar.

 

Palace of Iyasu I, left and Fasilides' Castle.

   
Fasil Ghebbi with view on Fasilides' archive. Chancellery with library Library of Yohannes I, Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar

Fasil Ghebbi with view on Fasilides' archive.

Chancellery with library Library of Yohannes I.

 
Dining room Fasilides' Castle, Gondar Passage between dining and reception areas Facilides' Castle, Ethiopia

Dining room Fasilides' Castle.

 

Passage between dining and reception areas.

   
Interior Fasilides' castle, Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Ceiling Fasilides' Castle, Ethiopia

Interior Fasilides' castle.

Ceiling dining room Fasilides' Castle

 
Facilides archive tower at Fasil Ghebbi. Facilides archive tower with chairway at Fasil Ghebbi.

Above: Facilides' Archive tower.

 

Left: The Archive Castle of King Fasilides built it for archiving documents.

Yohannis I's Castle seen from a gate.

Yohannis I's Castle.

Yohannis I's Castle with Fasilides Archive in the background.

Yohannis I's Castle at Fasil Ghebbi in baroque style.

Elfin Giyorgis Church at Fasil Ghebbi

Above: Elfin Giyorgis Church. right: Mentewab's castle.

Mentewab's castle fasil Ghebbi
Banquet hall of the Emperor Bekaffa and the concert hall of Dawit III. Stables and the Banquet Hall of the Emperor Bekaffa.
Interior of the Banquet Hall of the Emperor Bekaffa.

Top Left:  Banquet hall of the Emperor Bekaffa and the concert hall of Dawit III.

 

Top right: On the left in the picture stables and on the right the Banquet Hall of the Emperor Bekaffa.

 

Left: Interior of the Banquet Hall of Emperor Bekaffa.

 

 

Below: Ground plan of the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi, with the Gondar Royal Enclosure.

Map Gondar Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi, with the Gondar castles of Ethiopia
       

Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $25 - $35 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!

 

Ecotravel Worldwide is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA, a social responsibility and conservation company. About CO2 emission offset for your travels.

Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
Email: niks

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