The modern city, Addis Ababa- was founded in 1886 at the site of a hot springs by Emperor Menelik II and given the name Addis Ababa, Amharic version for “new flower.” It is centrally located within Ethiopia as a capital city should be. The city is situated at a maximum elevation of 3300m above sea level on a plateau that is crossed by numerous streams and surrounded by hills. Its high elevation gives the city a mild, pleasant climate.
It is the focus of a highway network, the site of an international airport, and the terminus of a railroad to the Gulf of Aden port of Djibouti, capital of the neighboring state of Djibouti.
The city is the gateway to the whole country and tourism is a growing industry with a vast resources and attractions.
Addis Ababa is the seat of Addis Ababa University (1950), schools of music and art, and several research institutes. In 1963, the Organization of African Unity was signed here and since then Addis Ababa was & is chosen to be the seat of Africa organization (now the African Union). As headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and other are here, the city is known as the “capital city of Africa” & is the scene of many international conferences.
Entoto St. Mary Museum
The church, built by Emperor Menelik in 1882, is situated on the extensive mountain rage of Entoto. Articles of historical significance, donated by members of the royal families are exhibited in a small museum. The architectural design and the inner wall paintings of the church are fascinating. Visitors can have the most breath taking view of the city and the surrounding areas from this church and a visit to Menelik’s old palace adds up to an experience the visitor will always cherish
The National Museum
The National Museum exhibits fascinating items like the oldest hominid skeleton (Lucy) that is discovered in 1974 in a place called Hadar, on the banks of the Awash River. She is believed to be over three million years old. The museum also contains traditional and ceremonial costumes, jewelry paintings, sculptures and other archeological findings.
Set within Haile SelassieI’s former palace (Genete Leul Palace) was built in 1930. The building of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University (also known as Ethnological Museum) hosts ethnographic items of more than eighty ethnic groups of the country. The museum accommodate on the first and second floors and comprising of the bedroom of the Emperor HaileselassieI, ethnographic section and gallery, which concentrates on the history of sacred arts.
Mausoleum of Bààta Church
Empress Zewditu, Menelik’s daughter, built the mausoleum in 1911. It is situated in the premises of Menelik’s palace. The remains of the King, his wife Empress Taitu and his daughter Empress Zewditu are in the underground crypt.
Trinity Cathedral was constructed by Emperor HaileselassieI in 1947 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The architecture of the cathedral is very unique to both Ethiopia and Africa. It is ornamented with carvings and mosaic and other artistic works such as paintings of saints and the apostles on the stained glass. Within the compound and gardens of the church are found the crypts of the Imperial family.
The Africa hall, which is situated opposite to the Grand palace, is the seat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It was built in 1961 by Ethiopian government as a monument to African Unity. In the lobby there is a stained glass window by Ethiopia’s most well known artist, Miter Artist, World Laureate Afework Tekle, depicting the Africans of yesterday, today and tomorrow in their struggle for freedom and progress.
The grand market (Markato) is a place where a commercial activity of the capital city takes place. It is one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. The normal market days are Wednesday and Saturday. It is true that anything you might want can be found here, only if you know where to look. Markato is not only Addis Ababa’s commercial center, but also the dynamo of the country’s business and industry. Here bargaining is a way of life.