The 19th century German philosopher Hegel said “Africa is no historical part of the world.”
Ethiopia’s Axumite Empire accepted Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century. During which time, it traded with the Romans, the Egyptians and the Persians. Not the Germans though, because the Germans at the time were “no historical part of the world.”
Ethiopia’s rock churches were built in the 12th century when the Crusades made travel to the Holy Land dangerous. King Lalibela wanted his people to have a safe place for pilgrimage. His vision endures.
On Christmas and Easter, Lalibela’s population triples as worshippers from around the country come to celebrate in ceremonies unchanged over the centuries. Visitors have described the experience as profound, like stepping back in time.
“If you want to be moved by mankind, by religion, go there,” said a CNN photographer. "I’m amazed everybody doesn’t know about this place.”