The most iconic of the churches in Lalibela is Bet Giyorgis, a 15m-high monolith carved in the shape of a symmetrical cross. Legend has it that this was the last church to be excavated in Lalibela, and that its namesake St George was so delighted with the result that in his enthusiasm he rode his horse right over the wall into the entrance tunnel, indenting it with hoof prints that can still be seen there today. Viewed from above, this moss-covered cruciform, nestled into its deep, hand-carved courtyard with the hills around Lalibela providing a sensational backdrop, is an absolutely spectacular sight. The interior, by contrast, is so unexpectedly small and cramped you’ll most likely do a double take when you come back out.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ethiopia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A first-timer's guide to Ethiopia

A first-timer's guide to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world: its long archaeological history – which traces back to the first humans – has left behind a successio…

04 Sep 2017 • Nellie Huang insert_drive_file Article
17 striking portraits of Ethiopia's Omo Valley tribes

17 striking portraits of Ethiopia's Omo Valley tribes

Renowned the world over for its decorated tribes, the Omo Valley is a stop on many a tourist route in Ethiopia. But visits to the area can cross ethical boundar…

20 May 2016 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures

Ethiopian Christmas celebrations in pictures

Today Ethiopia is celebrating Christmas. Following the Julian calendar, this East African, Orthodox Christian nation celebrates Christmas on the 7th January eac…

07 Jan 2016 • Karoki Lewis insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook