Top Attractions in Axum

Lying close to the Eritrean border at the heart of the former Axumite Empire, Aksum is a city in Northern Ethiopia known for its dominant economic and political force in the region for about a millennium prior to its collapse circa AD700.

In addition to being recognized and registered in 1980 as one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia, Axum is best known today for the giant engraved obelisks (stelae) that tower over the northeast of the town. But the entire city stands above a fascinating miscellany of ancient relics – dingy catacombs, ruined palaces, rock engravings and inscribed tablets – that pay collective testament to the enterprise and complexity of what is perhaps the most enigmatic of all the ancient civilizations of the Old World. This enigma is amplified when one visits the nearby Yeha Temple, estimated to have been constructed 2,500 years ago. Axum’s Church of Tsion Maryam – claimed by Ethiopians to house the Ark of the Covenant – has for more than 1,600 years lain at the spiritual heart of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church; the Axumite architectural legacy lives on in several ancient churches, notably the male-only cliff top gem that is the Monastery of Debre Damo.

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Best Season:All year round
Popular Location: Ancient Statures, Mariam Tsion Church, Queen of Sheba\\\'s Palace