Giyorgis Maikado Church

Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Hawzēn, Tigray, Ethiopia
As it was Christmas and a holy day, the lodge staff were having time with their families and therefore lunch was very late and our original plan to climb to Maryam QorQor / Debre Maryam Koirkor had to be changed. Instead it was a short 4 km drive north of Hawzien.

When the trusty Coaster could go no further, out we hopped and yes by now, the local children had already seen us and came a running in our direction and accompanied us. Somehow this flock of children just grew with young girls carrying their younger siblings on their backs. Walking passing these magnificent tall euphorbia in the mid afternoon sun to see Giyorgis Maikado Church (St George of the Running Water). Built into the side of a hill this probable 10 century church is totally carved out with a spacious interior which displays various expressive designs. It has four free and six more pillars merged with the walls. All columns are in arches. The central ceiling facing the Holy of Holies, trimmed to look like a barrel, better adorns the attraction.

The chapel has two attractive windows which farther ornament the structure. One reveals a cross-featured design while the other one, circular in shape, is decorated with pattern rolled like plastic tubes. The Holy of Holies, well ordered, has its walls carry a series of rectangle and cross-shaped depthless cuts. More important is the rock cut menebere tabot which is used to keep the tabot. Such features are uncommon.

Again we were the only ones here and the 67 year old priest showed us this church's treasure.

Back to Gheralta Lodge and after sunset enjoyed their 220 birr / NZ$14.65 / US$10.80 dinner: pumpkin soup, Ethiopian fasting dish, salad buffet and zabaglione. Wonderful way to finish the rather frustrating Christmas Day.

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