The Civilization of Yemrihane Kirstos
Yemirhane Kirstos has outstanding historical, religious, architectural and artistic values. This wonderful heritage site consists of churches, palace heritages and other treasures of ancient church civilization of Ethiopia.
The Yemirhane Kirstos church palace and its environs are located in the Amhara regional state of the Lasta district within northern Wollo administration zone. The palace is characterized by a rugged mountain landscape, in the river valley of gorges and high clips. The population is mainly agriculturalist and focusing on crop production and animal husbandry. The church is built under a deep, wide-mouthed ballistic cave, and surrounded by dense forest. The cave is remarkable, unique and graceful due to the architectural features, the interior paintings and decorations. The ancient monuments have been used for more than nine hundred years and valued over time. The art and architect of the church is a living witness of heritage compared to Axume and Lalibella. This cave church is architecturally attractive, masterfully constructed and has great aesthetic values.
The church and the palace have two painted chambers. The church is rectangular in structure which has protruding and receding wall parts, window panels, the doors, the down roof structure and the corner towns. The wall is divided vertically and the building is made of woods, layers of stones covered with plaster. The church is highly impressive and graceful due to its cover of blanked timber and the white plaster, the walls window style is square and rectangular. All windows have wooden frames filled with interlined designs either wood or stones.
In addition, there are boxes, liturgical objects, crosses, umbrellas, vestments, musical instruments and icons inside the church. Besides the cave complex, the dense forest and the surrounding landscapes are among the few attractive features of the church complexes. The cave itself is hidden by the mountain forest of the juniper. The age of the forest is as old as the church. It is amazing to see the remains and the monument survived for about 900 years without decay. The points in the church and the palaces are a kind of biblical themes, apostils, angels, Saints martyrs and a variety of animal figures.
The palace cave is rectangular in shape and almost equal to the church in size. The palace design execution is similar to the church. The palace also has the same architectural style in a wall with the church. The Yemirane Kirstos civilization is one of the architectural and artistic gems of Ethiopia. The church, the palace and other treasures are highly commendable issues of heritage. The civilization of the Yemirhane Kiristos will be one among the world heritages of Ethiopia to be registered in the world heritage list in the next three years.
Source: Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage