Gondar was the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia, and is notable for its medieval Castles and churches. The City's unique imperial compound contains a number of Castles built between 1632 and 1855 by the various Emperors who reigned during this period. These dramatic castles, unlike any other African, display a richness in architecture that reveals the Axumite traditions as well as the influence of Arabia.
Founded by Emperor Fasiledes; Gondar was the Capital city of Ethiopia in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Founder of Gondar, Emperor Fasiledes built his Palace in 1632. His successors built their castles within the Royal Enclosure. Fasil Ghebbi means the Premise of King Fasiledes in Amharic, the working language of Ethiopia.
The Castles of successive Emperors who ruled the country from Gondar are surrounded by a 900 meters long wall. As a true evidence of an architectural beauty deeply marked by the country’s ancient civilization, the Royal enclosure (Fasil Ghebbi) was registered by UNESCO as s World Heritage Site in 1980.
Other treasure of Gondar include the 18th Century palace of Ras Beit, the bath of Fasiledes, the ruined palace of Kusquam, and the church of Debre Berhane Selassie with its unique murals.
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