Queen Gudit was born in Lasta (Agew region) near Lalibela. Her father was a Felasha (Beta Israel or Jewish) king called Gideon. It is said that at that time the Felashas refused to pay taxes to the Aksumite kingdom and the king of Aksum sent troops to the Felasha regions and forced them to pay taxes. The Aksumites raids frustrated the Felashas. In tenth century, Queen Gudit united the Felashas, and marched on Aksum to try to remove Christianity and the Aksumite dynasty from Ethiopia once and for all. She destroyed Aksum, overthrew and killed the King and Princes ending the Aksumite kingdom. This led to the rise of the "Zagwe Dynasty". Queen Gudit is remembered as evil and a destroyer of churches. This period of history is known in Ethiopian tradition as "end of the first millennium".
Following Queen Gudit's campaign against Aksum, Marara Teklehaimanot formally founded the "Zagwe Dynasty" in 1137. He became the first Zagwe King and ruled from Lasta. In 1270, the Zagwe Dynasty ended and Yekuno Amlak took the throne and restored the "Solomonic Dynasty".
Lalibela stands on soft red volcanic rock and was originally known as Roha. It was later renamed Lalibela when King Lalibela was credited with building the rock-hewn churches there in the twelfth century. Lalibela is now regarded as one of the greatest Ethiopian architectural wonders and is ranked the eighth most incredible historical site in the world by UNESCO. Aksum and Lalibela have in common architectural and stone works, which illustrate Ethiopian civilisation at great length.
In Lalibela there are 11 churches cut out of solid red volcanic rock, which are constructed to represent Jerusalem. The churches are divided into Northern and Eastern groups of churches by a rock-cut channel (river) called Yordannos (Jordan River) and connected by narrow and deep passages. Bieta Medhane Alem is the largest and most impressive monolithic church. Of all the churches, Bieta Giyorgis (Saint George) is particularly stunning and beautiful, situated apart from the other churches to the west, intricately carved into the shape of a cross. All the churches are still used as places of worship.
- Roderick Grierson and Stuart Munro-Hay, The Ark of the Covenant, 2000, published by Phoenix, London, UK, ISBN 0753810107
- Stuart Munro-Hay, Ethiopia, The Unknown Land a Cultural and Historical Guide, 2002, published by I.B. Tauris and Co. Ltd., London and New York, ISBN 1 86064 7448
- Jenny Hammond, Fire From The Ashes, A Chronicle of the Revolution in Tigray, Ethiopia, 1975-1991, 1999, published by The Read Sea Press, Inc., ISBN 1 56902 0868
- Philip Briggs, Ethiopia, The Bradt Travel Guide, Third Edition, 2002, published by Bradt Travel Guides Ltd, England, UK, ISBN 1 84162 0351
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (2003). The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Faith and Order. http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/indexenglish.html
- Binyam Kebede (2002). http://www.ethiopiafirst.com (4ladies.jpg, Afar-lady.jpg, Afar-girl.jpg, lady-artful-lips.jpg, Man-face-art.jpg, Man-face-art2.jpg, Somal-lady.jpg, Debra-Damo.jpg, Buitiful-girls.jpg, lady-face-art.jpg, man-hair-style.jpg, yeha.jpg, harar.jpg,). Many thanks to Binyam Kebede for his permission to copy and use these pictures from his website.
- Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Office of Population and Housing Census Commission Central Statistical Authority, November 1998, Addis Ababa
- Edward Ullendorff, Ethiopia and The Bible, The Schweich Lectures, The British Academy, Published by The Oxford University Press, first published 1968, Reprinted 1989, 1992, 1997, Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, United Kingdom, ISBN 0-19-726076-4
- Mr. Solomon Kibriye (2003). Imperial Ethiopia Homepage, http://www.angelfire.com/ny/ethiocrown. Many thanks to Mr. Solomon Kibriye for the contribution and comments he has made to this website.
Copyright © 2002 -