Classic Ethiopia Tours

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Cathedral commemorates Ethiopia's liberation from five years of Italian occupation. It is also the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia (after St. Maram in Axum), and the highest ranking of Addis Ababa's four Orthodox cathedrals. The Church of the Holy Trinity was founded by Emperor Menelik II soon after he moved his imperial capital from Mt. Entoto to Addis Ababa. The original church, built of wood with intricate carvings, was constructed with the help of artists from India. Located close to the Imperial Palace, it was frequently visited by the royal family.In 1928, a cornerstone was laid by Empress Zewditu for a new cathedral to be built. Work progressed slowly and was halted during the Italian occupation of 1936 to 1941.


The new Cathedral would not be completed until 1942, after the return from exile of Emperor Haile Selassie following the Italian occupation. Trinity was made the burial ground for those who fought against the Italians both inside the country and in exile. No other persons, other than high clergy, are allowed to be buried on the grounds of the Cathedral itself (although there are a public cemetery and a public mausoleum behind it). Emperor Haile Selassie built a mausoleum for his family in the crypt under the Cathedral, and the Imperial family continue to use it as their tomb. The Cathedral has been the site of many great church and state ceremonies, including the enthronements of the Patriarchs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the consecration of all Archbishops and Bishops.


The cathedral features statues of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on its courtyard walls. The Cathedral is adorned with traditional church iconic paintings and beautiful stained glass windows. Flags of the various branches of the Imperial Armed forces hang in the nave, and Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife, Empress Menen, mausoleum are in a special chapel in the north transept. The burial space directly in front of Holy Trinity Cathedral is reserved for those entitled to the highest honor from the church, and requires special permission of the Patriarch. So far only His Highness Ras Imiru Haile Selassie (Regent of Ethiopia during the Occupation), Mrs. Sylvia Pankhurst, and Lt. General Merid Mengesha have their tombs in this space. A monument to Abune Michael who was executed by the Italians also stands here (His remains were never recovered).


To the south of Holy Trinity Cathedral is a martyrs' memorial and mausoleum containing the remains of the 60 officials of the Imperial government who were massacred by the Derg on November 23, 1974. The old Church of the Holy Trinity remains a part of the cathedral complex and still functions as a church. It is now called Bale Wolde (Church of the Feast of God the Son) or Arbaetu Insesat (Church of the Four Heavenly Creatures). The High Altar is dedicated to Aga-iste Alem Kidist Selassie (Sovereigns of the World, the Holy Trinity); the altar to the right is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and the altar on the left to Our Lady Covenant of Mercy (Kidane Meheret).  To the North and south of the Cathedral are two tombs containing the remains of those massacred by the Italians following the attempt on the life of the Fascist Viceroy in 1936.

Historical Attraction sites

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
News image

The Axum Kingdom

Thursday, 27 May 2010

AXUM in its day was a great commercial centre, issuing its own currency and trading with Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India and even Ceylon. The settlement was also the site of Ethiopia's oldest church, which dated back to the coming of ...

Read more
News image

Lalibela

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lalibela a  medieval settlement in the Lasta area of Wallo, lies at the centre of an extensive complex of rock churches. Some can be reached by one or two hours'  drive, others are a full day's journey. Lalibela has 11 ...

Read more
News image

Gonder

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Gonder was the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia, and is notable for its medieval Castles and churches. The City's unique imperial compound contains a number of Castles built between 1632 and 1855 by the various Emperors who reigned during this ...

Read more
News image

Harar City

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The city of Harar is an ancient (1520) and holy city. Always an important trading centre, the city is famous for its ancient buildings, its great city walls and as a centre of learning muslim scholarship ( the town has ...

Read more
News image

Bahar Dar

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bahar Dar is a small town set on the south - eastern shore of lake Tana, where local fishermen still use papyrus boats, and just 30 km from the spectacular Tissisat Falls. Here the Blue Nile creates " Smoking Water" ...

Read more
News image

Debre Damo

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Debre Damo monastery is situated on an isolated mountain in northern part of Tigray. It is unique compared with most Ethiopian monasteries. Debre Damo was built, in the sixth century AD, with curved wood panels, painted ceilings and walls dedicated ...

Read more
News image

Lucy (Australopithecus)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lucy (also given a second (Amharic) name: dinqineš, or “Dinkenesh,” meaning “You are beautiful” or "you are wonderful") is the common name of AL 288-1, several hundred pieces of bone representing about 40% of the skeleton of an individual Australopithecus ...

Read more
News image

Yeha

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The oldest standing structure in Ethiopia is located in Yeha: the Great Temple. This is a tower built in the Sabaean style, and dated through comparison with dated structures in South Arabia to around 700 BC; although no radiocarbon dating ...

Read more
News image

Holy Trinity Cathedral

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cathedral commemorates Ethiopia's liberation from five years of Italian occupation. It is also the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia (after St. Maram in Axum), and the ...

Read more
More in: Historical Route