Tigray is recognized as the cradle of the ancient Ethiopian civilization. The Yeha temple and the Axumite monolithic steleas testify to this. Numerous archeological sites underline the long history of the region, where the first Christian state in the world was established in the fourth century. Thus the old churches of Tigray are the testimony to this history.
The rock-hewn churches are a landmark achievement of church building in Ethiopia. Lalibela being the most famous, but so many others to be found in Tigray. Abreha Atsbeha is one of the outstanding rock hewn churches, found beautifully situated between Wukro and Hawzien. The spacious high barrel-shaped ceiling contains various artful ancient works of art.
Hidden from the rest of the world, the highlands of Ethiopia have hundreds of rock-hewn churches and monasteries, with all their mysteries and precious relics. Before 1966, the rock-hewn churches of Tigray have been described by the British academic Ivy Pearce as the greatest of the historical-cultural heritages of the Ethiopian people. Most of these architectural gems remain in active