The history of Gondar City began in 1636; Emperor Fasilides ended the tradition by decreeing Gondar to be Ethiopia’s capital and started building. The Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi, which became the palace town with different palaces and three churches and support buildings.

Fasiledes Castle

Fasiledes Castle or Enqulal Gemb (Egg Castle for its egg-shaped domed roofs on the towers), Iyasu’s Castle, Dawit’s Hall, Bekaffa’s Banqueting Hall, stables, a sauna, Mentewab’s Castle, the library and chancellery of Yohannes I as well as the Atatami Kidus Mikael Church, Elfign Giyorgis Church and Gemjabet Mariyam Church.

Depending on the building, the architectural designs reflect Arabian, Indian and Baroque influences in addition to Ethiopian Axumite and Lake Tana styles and architectural traditions. With their curtain walls, huge castles with looming battlemented walls and towers, Fasil Ghebbi and Kuskuam Mariam seem like a piece of medieval Europe transplanted into Ethiopia.

Fasiledes Bath or Swimming Pool

The building is a two-storied battlemented building placed within a rectangular pool. Water is supplied by a canal from the nearby river. But is kept emptying except during Timket, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of Epiphany. The bathing pavilion itself stands on pier arches and contains several rooms which are reached by a stone bridge, part of which could be raised for defense.

Church of Debre Berhan Selassie (Light of the Trinity)

The Church, which stands surrounded by a high wall on raised ground to the north-west of the city and continues in regular use. A plain, church on the outside, the interior of Debre Berhan Selassie has beautiful colorful murals. The north wall is dominated by a depiction of the Trinity above the Crucifixion; the theme of the south wall is St Mary and that of the east wall the life of Jesus’s. The west wall shows major saints, with St George in red and gold on a prancing white horse.

Market

If you are in Gondar on a Saturday visit the cities weekly colorful market “Kidame Gebeya” where you can witness, the local community in the process of trading and bargaining both traditional and modern clothes, grains, livestock, vegetables and many more.

Traditional Night Life 

For a traditional dance, taste visits the nearby “Eneye Takele traditional dance place” owned by very well-known traditional dancer Eneye Takele “the Queen of Eskesta.”