In case you missed my previous posts about Fasil Ghebbi, be sure to take a look at Part 1 and 2.
In this post we will continue to explore the grounds and look at the castles we explored previously from a more creative perspective. We will also examine some additional features of the compound.
1: I like the way this photo turned out, as it appears the tree branches are painting the Palace of Iyasu with their branches.
2: This photo offers a little more perspective as to how the Palace of Iyasu and Fasilides’ castle are positioned. From this angle, you cannot see the damaged tower on the Palace of Iyasu. You can almost get a feel for how this site may have looked a few hundred years ago.
3: What remains of the Elfin Giyorgis Church. It’s hard to tell what the actual church may have looked like, when so little is left.
4: There are a few interesting features in this photo. First, in the foreground is what remains of a traditional round church, one of a few churches on the royal compound. Further back you can see one of the 12 gates into the compound, built into the 900-meter perimeter stone wall. To this day, the wall serves its purpose of protecting the revered site.
5: The remains of one of the bridges that allowed royalty to bypass the perimeter walls for various purposes, including attending a nearby church. It’s not clear to me how these bridges would have been secured from intruders. It is clear they were willing to trade some security for royal convenience.
6: Behind the Palace of Iyasu and Fasilides’ castle is this little building that looks like it belongs on a Star Wars set. I was told it was one of the royal saunas. Saunas were popular in those days to combat skin conditions.
7: The royal lion cage. A number of black-maned Abyssinian lions were kept here up through the rein of Haile Selassie. These lions are a national symbol of Ethiopia and can be found depicted on everything from money to architecture. Very few of these lions exist in the wild.
8: From inside the lion cage, you can use the entrance to frame the two castles and royal library. This is a popular spot for tourists to snap a photo, and the guides are trained to make sure everyone gets an opportunity. No matter how good the camera angle offered by guides, it always feels weird and cliche’ to take these photos.
9: Restoration efforts are ongoing at the site. These people are making the traditional mortar used to build the various structures around the complex.
10: We came upon this resident owl while we were exploring the grounds. Owls are nocturnal, but occasionally you can catch them sleeping in a well-shaded spot.
Thanks for dropping by! In the final installment, we will continue to explore Fasil Ghebbi and its historical buildings. I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.