Lalibela has the potential to someday be one of the world’s most visited sites. Like Machu Picchu, which went from being virtually unknown to drawing millions of tourists.
There are plans beyond tourism. The Ethiopian Space Science Society plans to build a state-of-the-art Observatory in Lalibela.
The International Astronomical Union believes that Lalibela, with its high altitude, thin air and minimal cloud cover is among the best places in the world for astronomical viewing.
Ethiopia has a long history of stargazing - a scholarly tradition tied to agriculture. The Observatory would build on that tradition, collecting information about rainfall and weather patterns so farmers can better monitor their crops.
Lalibela’s rock churches are its past.
The Observatory is its future.