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The name of the capital city of Ethiopia means in Amharic “New Flower”. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at an average altitude of 2,500 m above sea level with one of the highest parts being the Entoto mountain chain (3,000m above sea level)..

Addis Ababa offers a pleasant climate all year round, with an average temperature of 16°C. The population is around 5 Million people, living in an area of almost 550 km². The metropolis is not only geographically the heart of the country, but also the center for commerce, trade, traffic and politics. The African Union has established its headquarters here. Most countries are represented by their embassies in Addis Ababa.

The capital city is a melting pot of cultures and languages. The inhabitants consist of all the Ethiopian tribes as well as many foreigners from Africa, Europe, Asia and America.

Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums, parks and a variety of cultural and culinary offers. It hosts one of the largest open air markets in Africa, known as the “Merkato”.

Main places of interest are (among others): -

The National Museum of Ethiopia- The national museum contains some wonderful artifacts dating to the south Arabian period of the so-called pre-Axumite civilization of Tigrai. These include a number of large stone statues of seated female figures, thought to have been fertility symbols of a pre-Judaic religion. It is interesting that the figures have plaited hair identical to the style worn by modern Ethiopians (it has been suggested that the mythological Medusa of Ancient Greece was simply a dreadlocked Ethiopian woman). One almost perfectly preserved statue, thought to be about 2,600 years old and unearthed at a site near Yeha, is seated in a 2m-high stone cask adorned with engravings of ibex. Many of the other statues are headless-probably decapitated by early Christians, who converted many pagan temples to churches. Other items include a sphinx from Yeha, once again emphasizing Axumite links with the classical world, a huge range of artifacts from Axum itself and a cast of one of the Gragn stones from Tiya. , 

The Ethnological Museum - The first floor of the building is dedicated to a wide array of artifacts and daily objects relating to most ethnic groups in Ethiopia, not only the monotheistic highlanders, but also the fascinating animist cultural groups of South Omo and Afar people of the eastern desserts. On the second floor is a new exhibition on Ethiopian musical instruments and visual art through the ages, an impressive selection of Ethiopian crosses, and a unique collection of icons dating back to the middle Ages. Outside the museum building, look out for the displaced ‘head’ of the largest of the Tiya stele in the gardens. On the ground floor of the building, the IES Library maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of books and photocopied articles about Ethiopia; despite the archaic and occasionally frustrating card indexing system, it is an invaluable resource for anybody undertaking research on any aspect of Ethiopian culture and history.  

St. George Cathedral - locates in Paisa near to the Menelik II monument. The original church was a round building of traditional style with thatched roof, built in 1897. The ‘tabot’ of St. George was marched to the Battle of Adowa. It is perhaps for its commemoration that the church was built. The current church is an octagonal building, set in pleasant wooded gardens and elegant doomed and was built in 1906. It is decorated with several interesting paintings and Afework Tekle (Ethiopia’s leading modern artist) did some of them. It has a small but interesting museum, which has several valuable treasures. Emperor Haile Selassie was crowned in 1930 here in S. George cathedral.

Selassie (Holy Trinity) Cathedra l- Emperor Haile Selassie I built it in 1941 after the restoration of independence from the Fascist Italian occupation. Many beautiful paintings, morals and stained-glass windows decorated the interior. Its exterior is very impressive with elaborate pillars and carved decorations. There are many statues of angels and disciples on the rooftop, culminating in an impressive way. The tombs of Queen Mennen (wife of Emperor Haile Selassie I) is found inside the church. In the church yare, there are tombs and monuments of very important persons including the patriots who lost their lives during the five years Italian occupations of Ethiopian, members of the royal family, commemorations of Ethiopian soldiers who died in the Korean War (1950 -1953 and monument of Sylvia Pankhrust.

Mt. Entoto with the Entoto Mariyam church - It is located at the top of the hill of Entoto. It was built in 1880s by the request of Queen Taitu for her husband Menelik II. It is an Octagonal form with the three distinct concentric chambers. The interior walls of the church are covered with beautiful paintings. Abune Mathewos, the bishop, crowned Emperor Menelik II there. The palace and the museum are also found within the church compound.

Merkato - It is the largest open-air market in Africa, trying to convey the feeling of Merkato with a description is like attempting to portray an ocean with a cupful of water. It is a concentration of all that is Ethiopian with everything from around the world thrown in to add to its cacophony of colors and endless stalls of objects. Merkato is not only Addis Ababa’s commercial centers; it is the dynamo of the country’s development in tread and industry, fascinating glimpse of the very vast range of goods and artifacts available from all parts of the country and one can enjoy the Ethiopian trade exchange tradition in the open-air and can purchase anything you need.