The city of Lalibela has eleven churches carved out of the mountains. They are all monolittic and they are in two clusters with five churches in each and then the best known, St. Georges’ a small distance away.They were supposedly built as a second Jerusalem when the Muslims made the “first” Jerusalem inaccessible. The small creek in the area was then called River Jordan.
It was strange to visit the churches. They were connected with tunnels, ditches and narrow trails. A few pictures from the areas.
The exterior was really impressive and the details like windows and pilars were exact and symmetrical. The tunnels were partly narrow and low, so bumping my head was a distict possibility. We went through the tunnels with one hand on the wall and the other above our head to monitor the heighth and prevent bumping.
The interiors were a mix of patterns carved from the rock and newer pictures. I liked the carved ones best.
We were told that 20 000 men had worked on the carving of these churches from the maountain, but it was said they were not slaves. Of course everything was done by hand and just the transportation of the excess rock rubble must have been a major operation. Legend tell that the humans built during the day, and the angels built at night. The churches and the clusters were really impressive, but why did they build so many churches so close together?
It was very interesting to see and visit these churches.