Gorgora Attractions & History

Gorgora is a town and peninsula in northwestern Ethiopia. It is located south , 60km southwest of Gonder on the north shore of Lake Tana .Gorgora, has a striking tropical vibe for history buffs and all. The former capital city provides the chance to see rarely visited monasteries and makes a good excursion for comfortable escape from the ordinary.

Gorgora served as one of the early capitals of Ethiopia during the reigns of Emperor Susenyos I and his son Fasilides before Fasilides founded Gondar. The city is named after the 4th-century Saint & Church Father Gregory the Illuminator, who is a prominent figure in Ethiopian Orthodox Theology.

Gorgora Monasteries Sightseeing

Debre Sina Church

Built in 1608 by Emperor Susenyos’ son and future founder of Gonder, Fasiladas, on the site of a 14th-century monastery.the church is beautifully decorated with frescos – including pictures of historical giants as Emperor Fasilades, Queen Sheba and King Solomon.. . One of the frescoes, the “Egyptian Saint Mary”, is said to have been brought to the area from Egypt and is believed to have the power to heal.. The church’s thatch roof and surrounding stone buildings lend this monastery a more ancient feel than most.

Mandaba MedhaneAlem monastery

This ancient monastery is found after 30 minutes by boat, 90 minutes by tankwa or two hours walking to the west through the remarkable and beautiful forest. It was established by Tsadiku Abune Asay, the son of Amede Tsion.

The monastery gets its name from the legend that Aba Assay's usually traveled by wide stone on Lake Tana using as boat. This miracle was mind boggling by the local people and they said who can do like Aba.Its Amharic translation is "Man Inde Aba." By explaining this legend, the elders associate the name of the monastery with Aba Assay's miracle. The monastery hosts The ancient stone of Aba Assay's ferry, wall paintings and different holy artifacts, ancient biblical manuscripts and some of Ethiopia’s most dedicated and pious monks . This monastery is closed for women.

Mussolini'sMonument ( Lighthouse)

The Italian invaders during their short lasted stay in the country had made different construction activities to strengthen their military power. One such building is the monument of Mussolini found Gorgora. Approximately has 20 meters high, was built to serve As commanding tower to watch any movements of the patriots as far as the horizons of all the directions.

Two images are carved onto the structure.The first picture shows a dying Lion of Abyssinia with the Latin 'Usque ad Finem', meaning 'To the very end'.The second picture shows Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf (the symbol of imperial Rome), with it is the phrase 'Roma Imperat', which is loosely translated to 'Rome Rules'. Ironically,The patriots in the absence of the emperor fought bravely for five consecutive years till they become victorious and the Italians were booted in 1941

Gorgora Nova

In addition to the castles and palaces of the medieval historical city of Gondar, The most notable examples of the influence of Indo-Portuguese architecture is found in Gorgora. Gorgora Nova represents the beginning of stone construction around Lake Tana and Gondar.

Susenyos’ Old Palace

Emperor Susenyos (1607–32) built his palace, known by locals as Susenyos Ghimb, on a peninsula (called Old Gorgora) 10km west of town. It can be reached in an hour by boat

The Portuguese Cathedral

The Portuguese Cathedral lies in ruins, but it is still stunning, with its beautiful architecture from the past. It was built in 1621 with the assistance of Portuguese Jesuit missionaries during the reign of Emperor Susenyos, after he converted to Catholicism and outlawed the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. When his son Fasilidas came to power, he expelled the Jesuits, reinstated the Orthodox Church and the cathedral was abandoned. It was never a stable structure as it was constructed using clay to hold the stones together. Since the walls gave way to the weight of the roof, the cathedral has lain in ruins. Tall walls, regal columns and archways engraved with flowers and crosses, an unusual sight in Ethiopia, still remind visitors of its former grandeur.

Boat Trips on Gorgora

Galila Monastery

The oldest monastery, Galila, is a one-hour boat journey southwest of Gorgora. Although destroyed by invading armies in the 16th century, the church was rebuilt using the original stones.

Birgida Maryam Monastery

Birgida Maryam is The most rewarding of the monasteries, known for its jungle and dedicated monks. The building itself is fairly standard, but the highlight is a lovely 16th-century painting of the Virgin Mary.you can also see the other near by church, angara tekla Haimanot which was rebuilt by Emperor Haile Selassie.

Gorgora Bird watching

The area around Gorgora is highly attractive for bird watching. The Lake Tana Transport Authority compound, located on the lake shore, has a bird watching platform which visitors can use to spot a large range of birds including White-headed Buffalo Weavers, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Yellow-breasted Barbet and Short-winged Cisticola. You may even be lucky enough to sight the beautiful Saker Falcon soaring overhead, weaving through the trees along the lake shore.

. Gorgora is not short of anything. Join our individual and group tours and Explore The Spectacular Lakeshore of Gorgora, its history, adventures and Surrounding with us.

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