2 days Tigray Churchs Tour
We drive to wukro about 47KM to the church of Wukro Chirkos the church is an Orthodox Tewahedo monolithic church located in northern Ethiopia, on the northern edge of the town of Wukro near the main highway. From the time members of the 1868 British Expedition to Abyssinia reported its existence until the early 20th century, it was the only rock-hewn church known to the outside world.Wukro Chirkos is dedicated to the child martyr Cyricus of Tarsus of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Due to its location, this church remains the most accessible example of these structures. The layout of this church is generally described as cruciform or "cross-in-square.
Afterward you will drive to the wonderful church of Abreha and Atsebha is situated 15 kms.west of Wuqro. A newly built gravel road leads the church is one of the best and largest of the rock churches of Tigray, dedicated to the famous kings of Axum, the brothers Abreha and Atsebha. They are known by that name to history, but they are said in Ethiopian legends to be kings who adopted Christianity in the 4th century. The historical king of Axum who did adopt Christianity around that time was king Ezana . His name is equally unknown in Ethiopian legendary accounts.
The church is cut into the red rock overlooking a valley, and stands out with its white painted façade sheltering two tall blue doors under arches. The church is decorated with splendid post-17th century mural paintings depicting Biblical scenes and saints. It also has several valuable treasures; the most important being the prayer cross which according to churchy officials, belonged to Frumentius- the first Bishop of Ethiopia whose ecclesiastical name was Abba Salama (Father of peace). After wards we processed to hawzien. Overnight hotel
Today after an early breakfast we will visit three churches; we will leave from the hotel and visit the Tigray Churches of Abuna Yemata Guh; Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. All of which are very different in style but stunningly beautiful in their own way.
To visit Abuna Yemata Guh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turn into a climb using foot holds and hand holds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left hand side. At the entrance there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock.
Of the three, Maryam Korkor is the most impressive architecturally. A huge, high ceiling is supported by 12 free standing pillars. Looking at it you could not help but wonder how the architect managed to carve so high from the ground. After we drive to Axum overnight hotel.
NB: this can be start from axum or mekelle