The Castles Of Fasil Ghebbi, Ethiopia (Part 4)

The is the 4th and final installment of our exploration of Fasil Ghebbi.  Please refer to parts 1 through 3 if you missed them.  

In this part we will explore some additional palaces built by later rulers of the Solomonic dynasty.

1: Mentewab’s Castle was commissioned by Empress Mentewab, who assumed power after her husband Emperor Bakaffa had passed away in 1730. This castle was the last structure to be built on the compound, and currently serves as administrative offices.

2: The rear of Mentewab’s Castle. You can see an extensive bracing system has been installed to prevent the building from collapsing. This includes a brace installed on the front of the building.

3: Bafaka’s palace, a banqueting hall is on the right, and the royal stables are on the left. Bafaka reined as emperor of Ethiopia from 1721-1730.

4: The inside of the banqueting hall. The italians attempted to repair this building during their occupation. Unfortunately they used concrete, which didn’t work well along with the traditional building techniques. What appears to be wooden beams supporting the roof, are actually reinforced concrete beams that are crumbling.

5: On the exterior of the banqueting hall, bracing had to be installed to prevent the wall from collapsing. This was a direct result of the Italian’s restoration attempts. The preservation of this site is ongoing, and supported by UNESCO as a designated world heritage site.

6: One of the guard tower turrets positioned around the perimeter wall. It now stands empty as it looks over the modern city of Gondar.

7: Dawit’s hall was built by Dawit III, who was a patron of the arts, and also known as ‘Dawit the Singer’. He was the son of Iyasu I, who’s palace we visited in part 1. He reined from 1716 to 1721, before dying of mysterious circumstances. His brother, Bafaka, assumed power in 1721.

8: The interior of Dawit’s hall. Both religious and secular performances were given here. Despite the roof being gone, you can still get an idea of its former splendor.

9: There are a lot of random ruins scattered about the compound. Many were support buildings for the nearby palaces.

10: As you exit the compound, you pass though a well preserved gate. It is one of twelve gates positioned along the perimeter wall. Each gate has a distinctive name.

During my research, I found a few interesting websites.

Thanks for dropping by!  I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.

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