The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region - Ethiopia

Map showing the location of Fasil Ghebbi UNESCO world heritage site (Gondar Region, Ethiopia)

Website Category: Ancient Ethiopia  

Area: unknown 

Inscribed: 1979   

Criteria: (ii)   interchange of ideas (iii)  cultural tradition

Location and Values:  The Fasil Ghebbi is situated in the town of Gondar on the high plateau of northern Ethiopia near Lake Tana.  It is a fortified royal enclosure, resembling a European medieval castle, built by the Ethiopian Emperor Fasilidas soon after he moved his capital there in 1636.  Gondar remained the capital under successive Emperors until 1864, each one adding to the structures within the enclosure, and building elsewhere around the developing city.  The world heritage property covers the royal enclosure, with its 900m-long wall, and the numerous public and private buildings within.

Slideshow of the Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region:  The slideshow includes 37 photos of this incredible medieval castle complex, showing the principal buildings in some detail with roof-top views and detailed studies of particular architectural features.  The last couple of pictures show the situation of the Fasil Ghebbi within the modern city of Gondar, evocative images in the morning mists.

Slideshow of the Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region:

Comments and Impressions:  This has to be one of the most remarkable and unexpected sights in the whole of Africa. 

Google Earth View:  To view satellite imagery of the Fasil Ghebbi on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing. It is worth taking a few minutes to explore the surroundings and understand how the castle complex is situated within the city of Gondar and its wider contemporary landscape.

Links to other places featuring Ancient Ethiopia: Lalibela   I  Aksum  I  Harar 

Other Links:     Official UNESCO Site Details  I  World Monuments Fund

Resembling a European medieval castle, the Fasil Ghebbi was constructed by the Emperor Fasilidas in the 17th century, now a UNESCO world heritage site (Gondar Region, Ethiopia) Entrance into one of the turrets on the castle walls at Fasil Ghebbi, now a UNESCO world heritage site (Gondar Region, Ethiopia) Two of the prominent castle buildings within the Royal Enclosure at Fasil Ghebbi UNESCO world heritage site, Gondar Region, Ethiopia Fasilidas's Castle, built around 1640, shows a unique combination of Portuguese and Axumite architectural (Fasil Ghebbi world heritage site, Gondar Region, Ethiopia)



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