Lalibela - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Lalibela


Lalibela is one of the world's most remarkable spiritual sites, home to Ethiopia's astounding rock hewn churches and an important source of pilgrimage to Ethiopia's Orthodox Christians. There are 13 churches in total, each carved from a single piece of granite, and all in current use. They were carved between the 10th and 12th centuries in a bid to create the New Jerusalem for those unable to pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The small town itself is fairly rudimental, but there is an airport, one large hotel and good restaurants. The atmosphere of Lalibela can be described as biblical, a quiet, mystical place, with a cool, moist climate, that never fails to astound its growing number of visitors. It should be noted that Lalibela and its churches are not tourist attractions, but places for worship and contemplation: tourists should be respectful when visting and taking photographs.

Information & Facts

Amharic is the official language, although over 80 local languages are also spoken. English and Arabic are widely spoken as well as some French and Italian.

The official currency is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB), which is divided into 100 cents. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and authorised hotels. Credit cards have limited usage outside of Addis Ababa, and even in the capital they are only accepted by major establishments. Visitors should carry a supply of travellers cheques or hard currency with them, preferably in US dollars. ATMs are sparse, but banks are usually open every day except Sundays from 8am to 11am and 1pm till 4pm.

Local time is GMT +3.
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