Ethiopia: Bet Giorgis at Lalibela


Photos by Ken and Peg Herring

Lalibela is a site that must be seen to be fully appreciated.  The monolithic stone churches, carved from the living rock, date from around the 12th century or so, but debate still exists as to the dates of construction.

My favorite is the Church of St. George, or Bet Giorgis in Amharic.  The word bet relates to the Semitic word for house, found in both Arabic and Hebrew.

1) Ground view of St. George’s

2) Aerial view

In Africa, we travelers used to say to one another when parting company, “Next Easter in Lalibela!”  Much the same as Jewish people of the diaspora would call out “Next year in Jerusalem!”  An interesting parallel.

Revolution and chaos in Ethiopia caused our promises to remain unfulfilled.  Not so for the Israelis.

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