Some of the earliest and most significant examples of Ethiopian ecclesiastical art can be found in the Tigray region. While the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in the Wollo Province about 500 kilometers from Tigray have attracted international attention by pilgrimages, tourism, and scientific research, Tigray's churches and their unique wall paintings are still quite unknown outside the country. They are particularly vulnerable due to stone falls and crumbling walls. A fifth of the paintings has already been destroyed in the last 50 years. The director of the Ethiopian Heritage Fund (EHF), Blair Priday, and EHF's team are working on a project supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation to archive and protect the exceptional murals of Tigray's churches. However, there is some climbing involved to reach the impressive, rock-hewn churches.
Series created by
Gisela Graichen und Peter Prestel