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Debre Damo Monastry

Debre Damo

Climbing up at Debre Damo

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The road after Adigrat is escorted by more exceptional wonders intervened between breathtaking sceneries. 30km after this town, the track starts to skirt a series of flat-topped peaks, of which one supports Debre Damo monastry, the oldest and the most distinguished marvel. The relic, 2800m absl lies 184km far from Mekelle and 41km from Adigrat.  A zigzagging way leads right to the foot of the plateau/amba/.

Debre Damo Church

Debre Damo Church

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The flat-topped "Imba" (plateau) measures about 1000m from northeast to southeast and 500m from southwest to southeast, and is surrounded by sheer cliffs.


Ascent to the mountaintop is only possible by using the 15m plaited leather rope (the "Junde") that is hanging down from the summit. The church is dedicated to its founder, Abune Aregawi (Zemikael), one of the 'nine saints' who taught gospel in the country in the 6th century. According to local tradition, Abune Aregawi is believed to have been taken to the top of the Imba with the help of a serpent that was commanded to do so by God. Today the "Jende" symbolizes the miraculous serpent.

flat topped mountain

Atop this flat topped mountain

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Source: Excerpt from Tigrai: The Open-Air Museum page 94-95

 
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