- 1 Day
- Tour Guide
This great one day trip will depart Addis Ababa at 8.00 am and have you back in the capital by 4.30 pm. The trip highlights include a visit to the Debre Libanos monastery and the Portuguese bridge.
Debre Libanos Monastery & The Portuguese Bridge – Day Tour
Founded in 1284 by the legendary Ethiopian saint Abuna Tekle Haimanot, Debre Libanos monastery played an important part in spreading Christianity in central Ethiopia. The church and its surrounds witnessed many historic events, including arrival of the first Portuguese mission to Ethiopia in 1520, resistance of the Ethiopian patriots during the Italian invasion of 1936 – 1941, and much more.
The modern church was built in 1950, by king Haile Selassie to replace the one destroyed by the fascists. It is located in a small wooded gorge, 3 km off the main road. The landscape around the church is beautiful and serene, wooded hills are boosted by several streams and waterfalls, and the cave where St. Tekle Haimanot prayed until his death (at the age of 98) is also found nearby.
The “Portuguese Bridge” bridge, was not as it’s name suggests built by the Portuguese but was in fact built in the 19th century by an Ethiopian, called Ras Dargein. It as built in the style of the 17th century bridges around the Nile. The view in this area is simply breathtaking, with a waterfall and a deep gorge leading down to the Jemma River valley. It is also a habitat of several rare birds (lammergeyer, Abyssinian ground hornbill, endemic banded barbet, Abyssinian woodpecker and much more) and endemic Gelada baboons.