The town of Lalibela is found 776 kms north of Addis Ababa in mountains central highland part of Ethiopia. It was the capital of Zagwe Dynasty for three hundred years. Roha was its former name before it was renamed after King Lalibela.
Being unofficial “eighth wonder of the world” Lalibela hosts the world’s most unique outstanding sacred sites: eleven rock hewn churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of granite with its roof at ground level. They lie between the east and west of river Jordan. The churches entirely separated from the surrounding rock by deep trenches as they are excavated.
As Lalibela is renowned destination it’s also still today a place of pilgrimage and devotion. Each of the churches separated from the surrounding rock by tunnel. King Lalibela has curved the churches with different arts, BeteMedhanlem's roof is decorated with Greeks Temple style , an Axumite style in Bete Emanuel and Aba Libanos and BeteGiyorgis prefect as nowhere you can find it. Others also stand with their own unique characters. Most of them, the roof, also natural, is bit lower than the surrounding plateau, and is decorated with relief ornaments on the top.
Religious ritual is central to the life of the town, especially crowds of singing and dancing priests during Ethiopian Christmas and Epiphany. These extraordinary religious art and rock architecture gives the town of lalibela a distinctively timeless, almost Biblical atmosphere.