Monday, August 13, 2012

Fasil Ghebbi

Gonder, the old imperial capital, was the home of the 17th and 18th century emperors of Ethiopia.  Fasil Ghebbi is the fortress that encloses the castles and palaces.  Emperor Fasilides founded the capital city of Gonder and built the first and grandest of all the castles within the 70,000 square meter fortress.
Our friend, Tamirat was our guide for the weekend in Gonder.  He gave us a very in depth  history of all the castles and palaces while we walked on the fortress. I wish I could say that I retained all the information he provided us but sadly I did not.  I do however remember a few small interesting facts that stuck with me.
Righteous John's palace son of Fasilides.  He was an animal rights activist way back then and insisted on rules for how to humanely treat animals.  Amazing!  His palace (which was humble compared to the others) was my favorite.
The sky and lighting was gloriously moody for my photography.  I couldn't have asked for better cloud cover and sun.

Emperor Fasilides castle built first within the fortress.  He would stand at the bottom balcony window and speak down to a man, "the mouth of the King" who would then shout the King's message to the commoners.

another angle on Fasilides's castle, on the turret there were windows looking out in the direction of all the churches so the King could pray in the direction of whichever Saint was to be worshiped that day.

The walled fortress and all the castles inside were spectacular.  The architecture details still preserved on all of the castles.  If it weren't for the destruction of war I have no doubt all the castles would be standing as they were built hundreds of years ago.  Some of them are!
One of the successors castles with a secret staircase from his upstairs bed chambers to escape if  needed.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I love exploring ruins, particularly castles. There is something incredibly romantic and mysterious.