With a population of more than three million people, Addis Ababa also known as Brussels of Africa is located in the geographic center of the country. It is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve center of Ethiopia. Founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887, this big, sprawling hospitable city still bears the stamp of the exuberant personality. There are more than 120 international mission and embassies in Addis Ababa. Making the city a forefront for international diplomacy in Africa and house the headquarters of the African Union and the United nation, Economic Commission for Africa.
Addis Ababa ’s espresso bars and patisseries are reminiscent of Rome and the Mediterranean, and its bustling outdoor markets are colorful reminders of more traditional ways of life. The people, the bursts of music from cafe’s or shops, the pungent aromas of spicy cooking, of coffee and frankincense, from a unique Ethiopian pastiche. Dominated by the 3,000-meter (9,840-foot)high Entotot mountains immediately to the north, Ethiopia’s largest city has grown at an astonishing speed since it was founded just over a century ago. Covering 250 square kilometers (97 square miles), the city rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut through with fast-flowing streams. despite its proximity to the Equator, its lofty altitude –it is the third –highest capital in the world –means that it enjoys a mild, Afro-alpine climate. From its inception. Addis Ababa was clustered around two main centers: the national palace to the east and the market, with Saint George’s church, to the west.Together they generated so much activity that the capital grew and developed rapidly.
By the late 1950’s Addis Ababa was recognized as the unofficial capital of Africa ,and thus was made the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)in 1958 and later, in 1963 chosen as Headquarter of the Organization African Unity (OAU)which recently change to African Union (AU) . Today Addis Ababa, which bears the imprint of many of these past developments, is a major metropolis, with an estimated population of over three million. The city stands at the very heart of Ethiopia and enjoys excellent connections with all of the country’s economic zones. Addis Ababa is Africa’s unchallenged diplomatic capital, with more than seventy embassies and consular representative, UN office, and many nongovernmental offices are based in the mountain city. There is more than enough to do in Addis.T here is numerous restaurant offering various exotic dishes from many parts of the world. On the entertainment side, you find cinemas showing international films and also stage dramas in Amharic. Sprawled through the city are nightclubs, gymnasiums, Art Galleries, coffee shops and spas. The main market-place, known as the Mercato, is the largest open market-place in Africa and has a wonderful range of goods, items of local art and Ethiopian curious and antiques. Individual and team sports are both extremely popular in Ethiopia. The country’s most popular sport is soccer football and the local soccer league has a 50-year history. But the country’s most successful sport is athletics where Ethiopian have won 10 gold medals in the Olympic games. Athletics has been attracting talented runners for generations but is now popular among the general public which takes part in various mass participation running events held around the country.
The name of Addis Ababa, in Amharic, means “new flower”. አዲስ አበባ Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain. It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25°C. You will need to fly in a day prior to the trip departure; Addis Ababa is the third highest capital city in the world and the altitude may fatigue you easily… so take it easy when you arrive. If you have time in Addis Ababa before/after the trip you can undertake a tour of this fascinating city, and visit the National Museum, take in the city’s wide, tree-lined streets or the bustle of the “Mercato” (market). This colorful market has an array of fascinating goods and curios, providing a great place for exploration and people watching. Throughout the city there are shops that sell typical artisan wares, materials and antiques.
The traditions of erecting monuments have an age-old history in Ethiopia. In this regard, the Axumite and Tiya monuments are worth mentioning. It is obvious that monuments have been erected in Ethiopia to commemorate very important personalities or events. In Addis Ababa, more than 17 monuments stand at different parts of the capital.
The statue of Abune Petros, the archbishop executed by the Italian invading troops, the liberation monument around Arat Kilo, the martyrs’ monument around Sidest kilo, the Andinet statue erected in memory of the fallen troops during the invasion of Somalia, the statue of Emperor Menelik at the heart of the city called Arada and the Lion of Judah erected in front of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway are some of the historical sites in Addis that are worth visiting.
Canon on Tewodros Square Ethiopia had an emperor by the name of Tewodros, who ascended the throne in 1855. He had the ambition to build an armament
s industry in Ethiopia. He, therefore, gathered the European missionaries inside the country and ordered them to forge a cannon which he called Sebastopol. This cannon was fired once and then went out of use. It now lies in the middle of a plateau called Me Qedela in the northern part of Ethiopia. However, its replica has recently been fashioned in bronze and placed in the square named after the Emperor located along Churchill road.
Pushkin Statue Russia had several literary giants such as Gogol, Chekov, Gorky and Pushkin. Alexander Pushkin has a history that links him with Ethiopia. According to some history books, his grandfather, Hannibal, had his roots in Ethiopia. Thus, a bust has been erected in Addis in Pushkin’s honor and memory. An avenue is also called after his name.
The Lion of Judah
is the symbol of heroism and resistance among Ethiopians. Especially, during the period of the Monarchy, the lion was the icon of imperial dignity. In Addis Ababa, there are two lion sculptures located within a close radius of each other.
The lion of Judah erected on the square to the Addis Ababa Railway Station commemorates Emperor Menelik who devoted his time to link Ethiopia with the foreign world by means of the railway line through the help of the then white foreign minister and adviser of him Engineer Alfred llg. The bronze statue is located immediately in front of the Rail way station, which was built by the French and inaugurated in 1929.
On the Lion of Judah Statue are carved in relief the effigies or faces of four high personalities in its four sides, i.e Emperor Menelik II in his coronation robe and crown, surrounded by patterns of maize crops and coffee plants (north), Queen Zewditu in a circular relief and with golden crown on head (south), Ras Monkonne with the respected golden crown in a patterned relief and Negus Tefari in his robe and crown of prince hood and with decoration of pattern.
Similarly to the Equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II, the statue of the Lion of Judah was pulled down in 1936 fascist Italian invasion and taken to Rome when it stayed for 30 years. Until it come back home through long time negotiation and re-erected on the original place on the same month and date it was previously inaugurated.
The lion of Judah itself turns its face to the snout with opened mouth, raised left fore leg and carrying the Ethiopian flag on a cross bar rested on his shoulder.
This black-stone carved monument is erected near the National Theater on the western sid at the Unity Square and it commemorates the Silver Jubilee of Emperor Haile Selassie, celebrated in 1955.
The monument is the work of a French sculptor Morris Calka, the winner of grand prix of Rome. Henry Shomet the Architect of the Addis Ababa City Hall selected him to be engaged in this task. The symbol of the monument served as a logo to the former Ethiopian Tourism Commission and is still serving the present Ministry of Culture and Tourism, depicting the country’s tourism promotion slogan ‘thirteen months of sunshine’.
Petros was one of the first four Ethiopian archbishops anointed by the Patriarch of the Alexandria Coptic Church. He was the archbishop of Wello province diocese.
The fist statue was erected in 1941 and inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie in memory of Abune Petors the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church. Abune Petros was an Ethiopian Archbishop who supported the national Patriots who fought against the fascist Italian invaders. The fascist leaders to tried to persuade him to preach to the people to Ethiopia so that they would accept their leadership. But, instead of that the Archbishop courageously faced the firing squad in defiance of the fascists and agitated both the patriots and the whole population not to surrender to the Italians by excommunicating not only the faithful but also the land itself. Because of his counter actions, he was shot, and the monument describing the action is seen within the street and square under his name just below the City Hall to the west.
The original statue with full bishopric robe, a cross and a bible in his hands was replaced by the present one which indicates the action of his murder with guns with chained hands. The first statue is today found in the premises of St. George Cathedral in front of the bell tower where a small museum is arranged.
It is erected on the Square of Emperor Menelik near St. George church and it is a standing testimony of the famous Battle of Adwa in 1896 where African triumphed over European colonialism.
The statue of Emperor Menelik is one of the monuments erected many years after the foundation of Addis Ababa as a capital of the country. A German architect Hartle Spengler carved it from bronze in Germany on the order of Queen Zewditu, the daughter of Emperor Menelik II for the memory of the father. The statue symbolizes the anti colonial struggle of Emperor Menelik who waged the Battle of Adwa heading the Ethiopian warriors and conquered the white army in the land of the black continent. The story symbolizes Emperor Menelik in his coronation robe riding gloriously on Abba Dagnew, his horse, and two spears on hand. As it is shown on the statue Abba Dagnew, being out of natural size and raising both the fore-leg’s, looks to the north whre the battle of Adwa took place and victory was for Ethioians. At the time when the statue Menelik was arrived in Ethiopia from Germany and its place of erection had been arranged, Queen Zewditu died accidentally in 1930. Therefore, only the then crown prince and later Emperor Haile Selassie attended the inauguration ceremony on the eve of his coronation day of the same year.
With the flowing Italian occupation of Ethiopia from 1936 -1941, the Italian got frustrated with the residents of Addis Ababa bowing and saluting the statue and removed it from its place during the night and hid it. However, with the eviction of the Italians, the statue was reinstated assuming its present position as opposed to its direction to the south when erected originally.
This monument is located on the intersection of Adwa, Queen Elizabeth and Development through Cooperation avenues at Arat Kilo, and commemorates the victory of the Ethiopian over the Fascist Italians in 1941 as well as those gallant. Ethiopians who perished resisting the invading Fascist forces during 1936 -1941 war. The official name of the square where the monument is Miazia 27, i.e, the day of the liberation of the country and the arrival of the Emperor together with his patriotic troops in Addis Ababa. Emperor Haile Selassie inaugurated the Freedom Monument in 1944. As can be seen, the 15-meter monument symbolizing the obelisks of Axum is supported by pillars and has six entrances. The entire history of the five years struggle is narrated by writings carved on the stone tablets round the monument. On the western entrance is read the discourse of Emperor Haile Selassie at the time of arrival and the day of liberation in 1941. On the remaining three entrances to the monument are written on the stone the following;-
this writing commemorates the patriots of the five years struggle and the woman with bas – relief holding a sward in her hands, depicts it. On the stone, writings are narrated the contribution of those who fought the enemy secretly at home submitting information to the patriots.
this side denotes the memory of the patriots who perished in the five years war and again is depicted by a woman with a sword in her hands; while on the stone there is a narration of the role they played.
depicts Emperor Haile Sealssie holding the Ethiopian flag in his hands and the relief of the Lion of Judah under him; while the stone writings oat that part narrate the great political and diplomatic role of the Emperor to liberate the country in the time of his exile.
this part is left for the memory of those Ethiopians who emigrated from their county and fought wherever they were against the fascist Italians’ occupation. Here also is depicted a woman holding a spear in her left hand and shield in the other and on her head wreath of anguish; while on the stone under her is narrated the life of those emigrant Ethiopians who suffered in foreigner countries.
The top of the monument in turn reveals the Lion of Judah holding the Ethiopian flag in its leg and facing the north direction. On the same place at the top in the western side is seen a clock with its short hand indicating one o’clock, i.e., the time of arrival of the patriots in Addis Ababa.
The obelisk (monument) was inaugurated on February 1942 in memory of the citizens of Addis Ababa killed in the Italian Fascist Massacre of February 1937 and it tells the world (and reminds Ethiopians) about the wild acts and genocide of the fascist Italians through Graziani. An attempt on the life of the Fascist Viceroy Graziani, by tow Ethiopians, in February 1937 provoked the Italian to unleash a three-day reign of terror in the course of which thousands of innocent Ethiopian citizens, including aged people, children, and pregnant women were killed in cold blood by bayonets, guns, spades, etc and many of houses burnt down.
The entire horror and terrorist action befallen on the citizens of Addis Ababa is depicted in bas-relief on the 28-Meter of the monument made by two Yugoslavia architects. In addition, the massacre was narrated by bronze letters carved on open-book-like stones on four directions around the obelisk. But unfortunately, these letters are today removed away by an unknown body and taken forever.
It is located on the Bridge of the same name at a corner known as Ras Mokonnen Minch (stream) near Saba Dereja and was erected by Emperor Haile Selassie some five years earlier to the Italina invasion to commemorate his father, Ras Monkonnen Welde Mikael. When the Italians controlled Addis Ababa they dismantled the statue as it was done with other monuments. But after liberation, it was carved again and inaugurated on May 5, 1934. The statue show only the upper part of the body of Ras Mokonnen together with a relief of a lion of Judah under it. The stream on which the statue is erected said to be used as a source of potable water for the neighboring people before tap water was available as today in the capital city