How many years ago was Lalibela built?
800 years ago, an Ethiopian king ordered a new capital for Christians. At 8,000 feet, on the central plateau of Ethiopia stand 11 churches, each carved from a single, gigantic, block of stone. No bricks, no mortar, no concrete, no lumber, just rock sculpted into architecture.
How long did it take to build the Lalibela churches?
According to the king’s hagiography (gadl), Lalibela carved the churches over a period of twenty-four years with the assistance of angels.
What does Lalibela mean in English?
He was given the name “Lalibela”, meaning “the bees recognise his sovereignty” in Old Agaw, due to a swarm of bees said to have surrounded him at his birth, which his mother took as a sign of his future reign as Emperor of Ethiopia.