Debre Damo

The Monastery of Debre Damo

Is located 86km to the north-east of Axum on the peak of Debre Damo at a height of 2,800 m above sea level and it is only accessible by a rope, which is made of "plaited leather", lowered from the cliffs, which visitors tie around their waist and are then pulled up by a monk at the top of the cliffs. It is one of the most important holy places of Ethiopia. Legend say that the monastery was founded by Abuna Aregawi, one of the nine saints, with the aid of a serpent that helped him climb up onto the 15 m high rock plateau.. There are still some 80 monks living in Debre Damo (only men are permitted to enter) The feast of Saint (Abuna) Aregawi is celebrated on October 14 Ethiopian calendar (October 24 Gregorian calendar) which culminates in a pilgrimage to Debre Damo from all over the country.

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