Ethiopia, Lalibela Shrines
One of the main attractions of the country is the city of Lalibela, which for many centuries was a religious center and a place of pilgrimage. On its territory are 11 temples carved into the rocks. The largest of them, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (“Bethe Madhane Alem”), reaches a length of 33.7 meters, a width of 23.7 meters and a height of 11.6 meters.
The most revered of the temples is the temple of the Virgin Mary (Bethe Mariam), where the windows have the form of Roman and Greek crosses, swastikas and wicker crosses. The church stands in a large courtyard, which with incredible efforts was cut straight in the rock. Later, in the northern wall of the courtyard, the Cross Church (“Bethe Masquel”) was carved. On the opposite side of the courtyard is the Church of the Virgin (“Bethe Danaghil”), dedicated to the torments of the Blessed Virgin. Through the labyrinth tunnel you can go to other rock temples connected with the courtyard.
The Church of St. George (Bethe Giyorgis), patron of the Ethiopians, Georgians and Englishmen, is cut down in the form of a cruciform in the plan of the tower with equal crosses of the cross. She was first knocked out as a solid block in the rock, then she was given the shape of a Greek cross, and finally, the interior was hollowed out. The roof of the church is located at the level of the surface of the earth, the very same church stands in a deep pit, and it can only be accessed through a tunnel.