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          Drawings,  Photos and a detailed description of all Churches in Lalibela


         First Group of Churches  Go to:   Second Group

   ST. George Church


   Bet Emmanuel  


   Bet Gabriel


   Debre Sina & Golgotha


   Bet Medane Alem


   Bet Mercurios


   Bet Aba Libanos


   Bet  Lehem


   Detailed site Plan


                Bet Mariam    Saint Mary's Church

  The Church of Saint Mary is the most important 
in  this  group of  Churches.   It  is  also the most 
beloved  from the  Lalibela  clergy as well as  the 
multitude of  pilgrims  which stream in the court 
yard on holy days.


  The floor  plan  of  Bet Mariam is  a basilica  plan 
with the main entrance to the West, nave and two 
aisles,   galleries  and  a  domed  sanctuary  with 
adjoining sacristies.

  The three  porches  at  the  entrances  jutting  out  
at the west,  north and  south  are  a  rare   addition 
in  an  Ethiopian  Church  architecture  and give a 
cruciform  shape to the floor plan.

 The interior of this beautifully decorated Church 
will  immediately  strike  you.    The  richness  of 
decoration  and  harmony of its plan is magnificent.

 Paintings can be found on the spandrels, the string-
courses  above  the  arches and the area of friezes of 
the blind windows.


   Figurative paintings, mostly pictures from the New Testament  adorn  the  smooth strips of wall beneath 
he ceiling the outer face of the nave wall and the end 
walls of the aisles.  Many  paintings  are  referring  to
the  life  of  Saint  Mary  to  whom  this  Church  is
dedicated to.

  With  great  reverence  the  priests  will  show you
 a particular pillar in the center which is covered with
a cloth.
 This is the "Amd" in Amharic for pillar which
is a symbol of unity of faith.

  The  priests  will  explain  to you that Jesus Christ
touched this pillar when appearing to king Lalibela
in one of his visions.


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   Site Plan


 The Churches in a group are set on several levels, in order to carry off the heavy summer rains. The trenches serve also as a drainage system and the water  finally finds its way to the Jordan river.

  Churches whose placing conforms to the slope of the terrain, the ridge of the roof, the gutter edges and the base of the plinth are slanted in line with it !  Whoever experience the 'rainy season'  in the Ethiopian  highlands will appreciate the great skill shown by these early builders !

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    Bet Danagel   Church
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   Bet Golgotha  &  Debre Sina   Churches
   Bet Golgotha and Debre Sina  are the most interesting Churches in the hole group in Lalibela!  Except of the carefully excavated interior, they have many engraved details like the four Saints in Bet Golgotha and some other figures from the Bible in the Trinity Chapel ! 
   The carefully engraved columns in Debre Sina church and other details in this group, make us believe that these three Chapels played an important role during the time of King Lalibela !
   The four engraved figures (Saints) in Bet Golgotha, have a similarity to Bishops in medieval Europe !
   Another engraved figure, probably a Saint in Bet Golgotha.
     The way leading to the Trinity Chapel...
Priests at Debre Sina reading the Bible in Geez