Gondar was the third capital of Ethiopia, after Aksum and Lalibela. It was the capital from 1632 till 1855.

From 1632 till 1755, the Gondar kings ruled Ethiopia.

One reason for establishing a capital at this location was that it was malaria free.

Following is a list of the Gondar kings.

NameLifespanReign startReign end
Susenyos I1572 – 17 September 1632160617 September 1632
Fasilides1603 – 18 October 1667163218 October 1667
Yohannes Ic. 1640 – 19 July 1682166719 July 1682
Iyasu I1654 – 13 October 170619 July 168213 October 1706
Tekle Haymanot I28 March 1684 – 30 June 170827 March 170630 June 1708
TewoflosDied 14 October 17111 July 170814 October 1711
YostosDied 171614 October 171119 February 1716
Dawit III1695 – 18 May 17218 February 171618 May 1721
BakaffaDied 19 September18 May 172119 September 1730
Iyasu II21 October 1723 – 27 June 175519 September 173027 June 1755
Iyoas Ic. 1740 – 14 May 176927 June 17557 May 1769

Several of the Gondar kings built their own palace in the Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), from which the emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides' castle, Iyasu's palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Empress Mentewab's castle, a chancellery, library and three churches. The Fasil Ghebbi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fasilides ruled from 1632 till 1667 and built the first palace. Yohannes I (1667 - 1682) built the second palace. The 3rd palace was built by king Iyasu I (1682 - 1706). The 4th palace was built by king Dawit III (1716 - 1721), the 5th palace by king Bakaffa (1721 - 1730), and the 6th one by Iyasu II (1730 - 1755).

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Fasil Ghebbi (Gondar Royal Enclosure)

View Royal Enclosure Castle
View of the Royal Enclosure with Castle of Fasilides (right) and Palace of Iyasu I (center). (887k)
Castle Fasilides
Castle of Fasilides. (670k)
Castle Fasilides
Castle of Fasilides. (735k)
Castle Fasilides
Castle of Fasilides. (1132k)
Dining Room Fasilides' Castle
Dining room Fasilides' Castle. (726k)
Inside Fasilides' Castle
Inside Fasilides' Castle. (776k)
Decorations Fasilides' Castle
Decorations in Fasilides' Castle. (792k)
Library Yohannes Foreground Archive
Library of Yohannes I (foreground) and Archive of Fasilides (background). (812k)
Archive Fasilides
Archive of Fasilides. (1027k)
Inside Archive Fasilides
Inside the Archive of Fasilides. (930k)
Library Yohannes
Library of Yohannes I. (648k)
Palace Iyasu Front Castle
Palace of Iyasu I (front) and Castle of Fasilides (back). (962k)
Palace Iyasu
Palace of Iyasu I. (800k)
Back Palace Iyasu
Back of Palace of Iyasu I. (1238k)
Ruins Banquet Hall Storage
Ruins of banquet hall and storage facilities. (983k)
Palace Bakaffa
Palace of Bakaffa. (1012k)
Palace Bakaffa Large Banquet
Palace of Bakaffa with the large banquet hall on the right, holding 300 people. (963k)
Palace Empress Mentewab Iyasu
Palace of Empress Mentewab and Iyasu II. (899k)
Dawit's Hall
Dawit's Hall. (897k)
Inside Dawit's Hall
Inside Dawit's Hall. (1078k)

Gondar

Bath Fasilides Celebrate Epiphany
Bath of Fasilides. To celebrate Epiphany, the bath is filled with water for 10 days and used to celebrate baptism. (937k)
Wall Bath Strangler Figs
Wall near the bath with strangler figs growing on it. It is the oldest in town. (1207k)
Wall Bath Strangler Figs
Wall near the bath with strangler figs growing on it. (1441k)
Side Wall Bath Strangler
The other side of the wall near the bath with strangler figs growing on it. (1294k)
Mausoleum Fasilides' Horse Named
Mausoleum for Fasilides' horse named Suviel. (880k)

Debra Berhan Selassie church, built by Iyasu I

This was the only church that survived the destruction of churches in Gondar by Muslims in 1881. In the back is a cemetery and a religious school. Students live in huts, 4-5 students per hut. On top of the church is a Gondar cross, with real ostrich eggs. The paintings are originals. Good persons are shown with a front face, bad persons with side face.

Debra Berhan Selassie Church
Debra Berhan Selassie church, built by Iyasu I. (1039k)
Gondar Cross Church
Gondar cross on the church. (496k)
Gondar Cross Church
Gondar cross on the church. (617k)
Inside Church
Inside the church. (998k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (914k)
Paintings Church Virgin Mary
Paintings in the church, Virgin Mary and son Jesus. (864k)
Paintings Church St George
Paintings in the church, St. George slaying the dragon. (865k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (993k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (961k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (800k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (983k)
Paintings Church
Paintings in the church. (967k)
Cemetery Behind Debra Berhan
Cemetery behind Debra Berhan Selassie church. (1389k)
Huts Students Religious School
Huts for the students of the religious school. (1185k)

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Ethiopia
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Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


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