Axum is the seat of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum, which was
once one of the most powerful in the ancient world. Located at the centre of
the trading routes between the Mediterranean and India, and the great port of
Adulis on the Red Sea, it was economically, politically and technically
advanced and at times had control over both sides of the Red Sea.
Axum is also the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia and believed to be the
resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. The old church of St Mary of Zion
was the first church to be built in Sub-Saharan Africa around 330AD. Its
ruins can be seen in the precinct of the church compound.
We visit the famous monolithic stelae of Axum, the tallest one still standing
reaches over 21 metres and the greatest one of them all, once 34 metres high
now lies toppled on the ground. It is still, however, the largest monolith
ever erected by man. The subterranean tombs, stone inscriptions of ancient
Axumite kings and the small archaeological museum are also living witness of
the ancient Axumite history. We will also visit the ruined palace of the
Queen of Sheba who is said to have given birth to Menelik the First, fathered
by King Solomon, the founder of Ethiopia's ruling family until the late
Emperor Haile Selassie.
*Yared Zema Hotel or similar*