U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-15-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,512,050 times
Reputation: 11862

Advertisements

I know Ethiopia has one of the oldest civilisations in Africa, dating to ancient times, so I'm wondering if it has a lot of very old buildings (ancient period, i.e. circa before 500 AD). Or if not, at least interesting architecture before say 1700? What kind of styles typify Ethiopian architecture? People generally think mud and straw huts when they think of Africa, but i'm sure there's gotta be more than that there? Ethiopia seems like a mystical land, in some ways as connected to the Semitic world as the rest of Africa.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-15-2013, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Caribbean
7,765 posts, read 2,476,704 times
Reputation: 2779
Yes, there is significant historic architecture. I personally would like to see the churches of Lalibela. Visit UNESCO World Heritage website and search for Ethiopia, there are many sites of interest. There are old Christian and Islamic sites to visit.

There are other sites on the African continent as well, such as the ruins of Great Zimbabwe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2013, 09:15 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,512,050 times
Reputation: 11862
Thanks caribdoll, will check it out! Ethiopia would be very interesting to visit, though I hardly ever hear of anybody visiting it. Moreso either Egypt or Kenya and Tanzania. Ethiopia seems to combine history with nature.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,241,442 times
Reputation: 9496
I think Ethiopia would be my personal #1 place to visit. Seems the safest, and the most interesting. Plus Ethiopian Airlines has one of the safest airline records in Africa.

That being said, there are a lot other countries I'd also like to visit in Africa. But, Ethiopia would be one of the most exotic and most different cultures. That being said, the communication barrier might be the greatest there. Throughout most of the rest of Africa, they are familiar with English, French, Portuguese, etc. Ethiopia was one of the few that doesn't have that European language commonly used within it's borders.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2013, 01:05 AM
 
18 posts, read 95,811 times
Reputation: 52
The oldest extant "buildings" are the stelae of Axum. The rock churches of Lalibela are younger (ca 1200 AD) but display very similar decorative elements. There are also historical buildings in Gondar and Bahir Dar. The northernmost part of Ethiopia (Tigray) has old rock churches.

Visits to Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar and Lalibela are easy to arrange from Addis Abeba, but you should be prepared to pay for domestic flights. Bus transportation is not recommended (uncomfortable, unsafe and slow). All those places have hotels and restaurants for tourists. Visits to Tigray rock churches are supposedly much more problematic (bad roads and no hotels).

In Ethiopia, most guides and people in towns and cities with some education speak passable English.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-18-2013, 10:52 AM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,488,255 times
Reputation: 4445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I think Ethiopia would be my personal #1 place to visit. Seems the safest, and the most interesting. Plus Ethiopian Airlines has one of the safest airline records in Africa.

That being said, there are a lot other countries I'd also like to visit in Africa. But, Ethiopia would be one of the most exotic and most different cultures. That being said, the communication barrier might be the greatest there. Throughout most of the rest of Africa, they are familiar with English, French, Portuguese, etc. Ethiopia was one of the few that doesn't have that European language commonly used within it's borders.
i concur. Though I'd like to go to Eritrea to see all the old Italian buildings, but Ethiopia seems much safer righ tnow.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2013, 12:53 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,956,738 times
Reputation: 3708
It's not Ethiopia, but if you're interested in architecture, you should visit Stone Town in Zanzibar.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2013, 05:06 PM
 
83 posts, read 424,567 times
Reputation: 66
They have nothing, the only thing you will be looking at are their mud huts that they have built over the years
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 03:30 AM
 
302 posts, read 725,546 times
Reputation: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
That being said, there are a lot other countries I'd also like to visit in Africa. But, Ethiopia would be one of the most exotic and most different cultures. That being said, the communication barrier might be the greatest there. Throughout most of the rest of Africa, they are familiar with English, French, Portuguese, etc. Ethiopia was one of the few that doesn't have that European language commonly used within it's borders.
You will have no problem getting by with just English. English is one of the official languages in Ethiopia. Almost all signs are in both Amharic and English in Addis Ababa. Also, the language of instruction for all students in high school, trade schools, and universities is English.

To answer the original question, there are plenty of old structures but they don’t go back that far, maybe 400 years at the most. Addis Ababa was built in the 1880s so all of the buildings here are pretty new.

In addition to the churches in Labella and the castles at Gondar, I recommend checking out the Portuguese Bridge near Debra Libanos, and the Rock Hewn Churches of Tigray, most of which are carved into mountains, and the city of Harar. All of which date from the 1500s-1700s.

There are a couple of sites that have tombs and stelae fields that date back to ancient times, the most famous of which is Axum. Another one is Tiya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a short drive south of Addis Ababa.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 03:41 AM
 
302 posts, read 725,546 times
Reputation: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barzie View Post
They have nothing, the only thing you will be looking at are their mud huts that they have built over the years
Not true. In the cities people live in houses built of brick and concrete. In some areas like Tigray people live in stone houses. Pastoralists and Somalis tend to live in tents or other temporary structures.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top