Ethiopia lake Tana tour and excursion to Kidane Meret monastery

January 7, 2011 

My trip in Ethiopia ends with a brief visit to Lake Tana, a picturesque and interesting place for both scenery and history. I visit the famous monastery of Ura Kidane Meret, containing valuable paintings depicting the entire religion in Ethiopia.

Monolith Ethiopian children
A large monolith along the asphalted road from Lalibela to lake Tana. As soon as tourists stop to take pictures, groups of children run to the cars, hoping to get something (candy, bisquits, money, pens ...)
Lake Tana Ethiopia lake Tana
On Lake Tana, the landscape changes completely if compared to what we saw in recent days. Starting from Bahir Dar with a motor boat, we reach the Zege peninsula, home to a large monastery called Ura Kidane Meret.
Zege peninsula Coffee tree
The monastery of Ura Kidane Meret is about 15 minutes of easy walking from the jetty. The walk is interesting, as you walk along a road in the forest, between plantations of mango and coffee.
Compressed mud and straw Lake Tana Monastery
Monks house

The buildings that make up the whole complex of the monastery of Ura Kidane Meret, including the homes of the monks and a museum, are built with mud and straw compressed.
Cross with ostrich eggs
Anyway, from several years, in order to reduce maintenance, the roof of the buildings was covered with corrugated sheet steel. In the right picture, the characteristic cross with 7 ostrich eggs around.
Entering the main temple.
Ura Kidane Meret Paintings
Ura Kidane Meret monastery

These paintings, in excellent conditions, are a compendium of Ethiopian's religious iconography.
Painting Fresco
Kidane Meret Last Supper
The paintings inside the monastery of Ura Kidane Meret represent scenes mostly related to religion, such as the Last Supper (below left picture).
Monastery on lake Tana Monastery of Kidane Meret
Other pictures of Ura Kidane Meret.
Lake Tana island
The brief tour of lake Tana continues to a small island where there is a monastery in which women are forbidden to enter.
Tropical forest
The monastery can be reached on foot from the pier, through the lush tropical forest.

The temple, with its characteristic circular shape, surrounded by a beautiful arcade.
Coptic religion museum
We visit the small but interesting museum attached to the monastery, with crosses and ancient texts related to the Coptic religion.
Lake Tana sunset
A beautiful sunset over Lake Tana puts an end to this long and exciting journey in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia travel guide

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