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Gondar

Sometimes named ‘The Camelot of Africa’, Gondar is situated 700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level. This medieval city was Ethiopia's capital from 1632 to 1868 and is still one of the prominent historical cities in Ethiopia.

King Fasiladas officially founded Gondar in 1632. It was this Gondarine period that is considered to be the third major dynasty after the Axumite and Zagwe dynasties. The dynasty is historically important for the introduction of a permanent capital. Gondar's 17th century castles reflect the strong dynasty and the power of progressive rulers. Seven of the dynasty's kings had their own castles built to show their power and independent, efficient ruling styles.

The city’s main imperial precinct, known as the Royal Enclosure, covers an area of 7.7 hectares and contains five castles raised walkways and connecting tunnels surrounded by high stone walls. The oldest of these is the Castle of Fasiledes, built of stone in the mid-17th century. His castle reflects a number of influences, mainly Axumite, Portuguese and Indian. The tower offers divine panoramic views, even Lake Tana is visible on a clear day.

Gondar is especially significant to the Ethiopian Orthodox community and considered a pinnacle of religious centers across the country. Among the churches in town, Debre Berhan Selassie is famous for its typical Gondarine style and extraordinary ceiling.

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