The Mercato, Gondar
|• Total||192.27 km2 (74.24 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,133 m (6,998 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (EAT)|
Gondar or Gonder (Amharic: ጎንደር, Gonder ጐንደር, Gʷandar or Gʷender) is a city and separate woreda in Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, Gondar is north of Tana Lake on the Lesser Angereb River and southwest of the Simien Mountains. It has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation of 2133 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by the Gondar Zuria woreda. Gondar served as a strong Christian kingdom for many years.or Gondär; formerly
Gondar previously served as the capital of both the Ethiopian Empire and the subsequent Begemder Province. The city holds the remains of several royal castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), for which Gondar has been called the "Camelot of Africa".
Until the 16th century, the Solomonic Emperors of Ethiopia usually had no fixed capital town, but instead lived in tents in temporary royal camps as they moved around their realms while their family, bodyguard and retinue devoured surplus crops and cut down nearby trees for firewood. One exception to this rule was Debre Berhan, founded by Zara Yaqob in 1456; Tegulet in Shewa was also essentially the capital during the first century of Solomonic rule. Gondar was founded by Emperor Fasilides around the year 1635, and grew as an agricultural and market town. There was a superstition at the time that the capital's name should begin with the letter 'Gʷa' (modern pronunciation 'Gʷe'; Gonder was originally spelt Gʷandar), which also contributed to Gorgora's (founded as Gʷargʷara) growth in the centuries after 1600. Tradition also states that a buffalo led the Emperor Fasilides to a pool beside the Angereb, where an "old and venerable hermit" told the Emperor he would locate his capital there. Fasilides had the pool filled in and built his castle on that same site. [ clarification needed ] The five emperors who followed him also built their palaces in the town.The emperor also built a total of seven churches; the first two, Fit Mikael and Fit Abbo, were built to end local epidemics.
Beginning with Emperor Menas in 1559, the rulers of Ethiopia began spending the rainy season near Lake Tana, often returning to the same location each year. These encampments, which flourished as cities for a short time, include Emfraz, Ayba, Gorgora and Dankaz.
In 1668, as a result of a church council, the Emperor Yohannes I ruled that the inhabitants of Gondar were to be segregated by religion. This caused the Muslims to move into their own quarter, Islamge (Amharic : እስላምጌ, "Islam place," or "Islam country") or Islam Bayt (እስላምቤት"House of Islam," lit. "Islam house"), within two years. This quarter came to be known as Addis Alem (Amharic for "New World").
During the seventeenth century, the city's population is estimated to have exceeded 60,000. Many of the buildings from this period survive, despite the turmoil of the eighteenth century. By the reign of Iyasu the Great, Gondar had acquired a sense of community identity; when the Emperor called upon the inhabitants to decamp and follow him on his campaign against the Oromo in Damot and Gojjam, as had the court and subjects of earlier emperors, they refused.Although Gondar was by any definition a city, it was not a melting pot of diverse traditions, nor Ethiopia's window to the larger world, according to Donald Levine. "It served rather as an agent for the quickened development of the Amhara's own culture. And thus it became a focus of national pride... not as a hotbed of alien custom and immorality, as they often regard Addis Ababa today, but as the most perfect embodiment of their traditional values." As Levine elaborates in a footnote, it was an orthogenetic pattern of development, as distinguished from an heterogenetic one.
The town served as Ethiopia's capital until Tewodros II moved the Imperial capital to Magadala upon being crowned Emperor in 1855;Tewodros II plundered and burnt the city in 1864, then devastated it again in December, 1866. Abdallahi ibn Muhammad sacked Gondar when he invaded Ethiopia June 1887. Gondar was ravaged again on 23 January in the next year, when Sudanese invaders set fire to almost every one of the city's churches.
After the military occupation of Ethiopia by the Kingdom of Italy in 1936, Gondar was further developed under Italian occupation,and the Comboni missionaries established in 1937 the Latin Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Gondar, which would be suppressed after the death of its only prefect in 1951.
During the Second World War, Mussolini's Italian forces made their last stand in Gondar in November 1941, after Addis Ababa fell to British forces six months before. The area of Gondar was one of the main centers of activity of Italian guerrilla against the British forces until summer 1943.
During the Ethiopian Civil War, the forces of the Ethiopian Democratic Union gained control of large parts of Begemder, and during parts of 1977 operated within a few kilometers of Gondar, and appeared to be at the point of capturing the city.As part of Operation Tewodros near the end of the Civil War, Gondar was captured by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in March 1991.
Gondar traditionally was divided into several neighborhoods or quarters: Addis Alem, where the Muslim inhabitants dwelt; Kayla Meda, where the adherents of Beta Israel lived; Abun Bet, centered on the residence of the Abuna, or nominal head of the Ethiopian Church; and Qagn Bet, home to the nobility.Gondar is also a noted center of ecclesiastical learning of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and known for having 44 churches – for many years more than any other settlement in Ethiopia. Gondar and its surrounding countryside constitute the homeland of most Ethiopian Jews.
The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist destination for its many picturesque ruins in 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. Near the city lie Fasilides' Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing; the Qusquam complex, built by Empress Mentewab; the eighteenth century Ras Mikael Sehul's Palace and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church.
Downtown Gondar shows the influence of the Italian occupation of the late 1930s. The main piazza features shops, a cinema, and other public buildings in a simplified Italian Moderne style still distinctively of the period despite later changes and, frequently, neglect. Villas and flats in the nearby quarter that once housed occupation officials and colonists are also of interest.
The town is home to the University of Gondar, which includes Ethiopia's main faculty of medicine.
Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Gondar had a total population of 207,044, of whom 98,120 were men and 108,924 women. The majority of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 84.2% reporting that as their religion, while 11.8% of the population said they were Muslim and 1.1% were Protestant.
The 1994 national census reported a total population of 112,249 in 21,695 households, of whom 51,366 were men and 60,883 women. The three largest ethnic groups reported in Gondar Zuria were the Amhara (88.91%), the Tigrayan (6.74%), and the Qemant (2.37%); all other ethnic groups made up 1.98% of the population. Amharic was spoken as a first language by 94.57%, and 4.67% spoke Tigrinya; the remaining 0.76% spoke all other primary languages reported. 83.31% adhered to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, and 15.83% of the population said they were Muslim.Gondar was once the home of a large population of Ethiopian Jews, most of whom immigrated to Israel in the late 20th and early 21st century, including the current Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Belaynesh Zevadia.
The Zamani Project documented Fasil Ghebbi in the center of Gondar with terrestrial 3D laser scanning.The structures documented include: the Castle of Emperor Fasilides, the Bakaffa Castle, Dawit III's Hall, the Castle of Emperor Iyasu, the Royal Library, the Chancellery, the Royal Archive Building .
Some of the textured 3D models, a panorama tour, elevations, sections and plans are available on www.zamaniproject.org.
Air transport is served by Gondar Airport (ICAO code HAGN, IATA GDQ), also known as Atse Tewodros Airport, after the Emperor of Ethiopia (Atse) Tewodros. It is 18 km (11 miles) south of the city. Travel within Gondar is mostly done by mini-buses and 3-wheeler motorcycles (accommodating 3–4 passengers).
Intercity bus service is provided by the Selam Bus Line Share Company and Sky Bus Transport System, as well as independently owned buses that depart from the town bus station.
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as humid subtropical (Cwa),bordering with subtropical highland (Cwb).
|Climate data for Gondar (1981–2010, extremes 1924–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||31.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||28|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||12|
|Record low °C (°F)||3.0|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||2|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||0||0||2||5||12||13||20||21||19||15||3||0||110|
|Average relative humidity (%)||44||40||39||39||52||69||79||79||72||65||56||48||57|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||291.4||243.0||229.4||249.0||238.7||183.0||114.7||139.5||204.0||229.4||240.0||279.0||2,641.1|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||9.4||8.6||7.4||8.3||7.7||6.1||3.7||4.5||6.8||7.4||8.0||9.0||7.2|
|Source 1: World Meteorological Organisation (average high and low, and rainfall)|
|Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (mean temperatures 1954–1990, humidity 1957–1982, and sun 1937–1990) Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)|
As designated by Sister Cities International, Gondar is a sister city with:
Menelik II GCB, GCMG was an Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and King of Shewa (1866–89). At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898.
Amharas are a Habesha Ethiosemitic-speaking ethnic group traditionally inhabiting parts of the northwest Highlands of Ethiopia, particularly in the Amhara Region. According to the 2007 national census, Amharas numbered 19,867,817 individuals, comprising 26.9% of Ethiopia's population and they are mostly Orthodox Christians members of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. They are also found within the Ethiopian expatriate community, particularly in North America. They speak Amharic, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Semitic branch, a member of the Ethiosemitic group, which serves as the official language of Ethiopia.
Mekelle, or Mekele formerly the capital of Enderta awraja in Tigray, is today the capital city of Tigray National Regional state. It is located around 780 kilometres (480 mi) north of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, with an elevation of 2,254 metres (7,395 ft) above sea level. Administratively, Mekelle is considered a Special Zone, which is divided into seven sub-cities. Mekelle is the economic, cultural, and political hub of northern Ethiopia.
The Solomonic dynasty, also known as the House of Solomon, is the former ruling dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire. Its members claim lineal descent from the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Tradition asserts that the queen gave birth to Menelik I after her biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem. In 1270, the Zagwe dynasty of Ethiopia was overthrown by Yekuno Amlak, who claimed descent from Solomon and reinitiated the Solomonic era of Ethiopia. The dynasty lasted until 1974, ended by a coup d'état and deposition of Haile Selassie.
Amba Mariam is a village in central Ethiopia. It was known as Magdala or Makdala during the reign of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia (1855-1868). Located in the Debub Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region, Amba Mariam has a longitude and latitude of.
Begemder was a province in the northwestern part of Ethiopia.
Fasilides, also known as Fasil or Basilide, was emperor of Ethiopia from 1632 to 18 October 1667, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. His throne name was ʿAlam Sagad, meaning "to whom the world bows". He was the son of Emperor Susenyos I and Empress Sultana Mogesa of Wagda Katata and Merhabete. Emperor Fasilides was born at Magazaz in Bulga, Shewa, before 10 November 1603. His paternal grandfather's name was also Fasilides.
Iyasu II or Joshua II was nəgusä nägäst of Ethiopia, and a member of the Gondar branch of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the son of Emperor Bakaffa and Empress Mentewab.
Tekle Giyorgis II (Ge'ez: ተክለ ጊዮርጊስ, "Plant of Saint George" born Wagshum Gobeze ዋግሹም ጎበዜ lit. Elect of Wag, "my courageous one"; died circa 1873, was Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1868 to 1871.
Iyoas I or Joas I was nəgusä nägäst of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the infant son of Iyasu II and Wubit, the daughter of an Oromo chieftain of the Yejju district.
Dessie is a city and a zone in north-central Ethiopia. Located in the Amhara Region, it sits at a latitude and longitude of, with an elevation between 2,470 and 2,550 metres above sea level.
Gorgora is a town and peninsula in northwestern Ethiopia. It is located south of Gondar on the north shore of Lake Tana, in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region. Gorgora has a latitude and longitude of.
Debre Tabor is a town and a woreda in north-central Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region of Ethiopia, about 100 kilometers southeast of Gondar and 50 kilometers east of Lake Tana, this historic town has a latitude and longitude ofwith an elevation of 2,706 metres (8,878 ft) above sea level. The presence of at least 48 springs in the area contributed to the development of Debre Tabor.
Mentewab, was Empress of Ethiopia, consort of Emperor Bakaffa, mother of Iyasu II and grandmother of Iyoas I. She was also known officially by her baptismal name of Welete Giyorgis. Mentewab was a major political figure during the reigns of her son the Emperor Iyasu and grandson Iyoas. Empress Mentewab was also known by the honorific of Berhan Mogasa or "Glorifier of Light". This was to complement the honorific of her son Iyasu II, who was Berhan Seged or "He To Whom the Light Bows".
The Royal Enclosure is the remains of a fortress-city in Gondar, Ethiopia. It was founded in the 17th century by Emperor Fasilides (Fasil) and was the home of Ethiopia's emperors. Its unique architecture shows diverse influences including Nubian styles. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Ghebbi is an Amharic word for a compound or enclosure.
The Zemene Mesafint was a period in Ethiopian history between the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries when the country was de facto divided within itself into several regions with no effective central authority. It was a period in which the Emperors from the Solomonic dynasty were reduced to little more than figureheads confined to the capital city of Gondar.
Gondar Airport, also known as Atse Tewodros Airport, is an airport serving Gondar, a city in the northern Amhara Region of Ethiopia. The name of the city and airport may also be transliterated as Gonder. The airport is located 18 km south of Gondar. The airport is named after the Emperor of Ethiopia (Atse) Tewodros II.
Dengel Ber is a town in western Ethiopia. Located on the south-western shore of Lake Tana in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of. Access to this town includes track roads to both Shawra and Kunzela and weekly service by the Bahir Dar-Gorgora ferry on Lake Tana. While the name of the town is indisputably Amharic, there is some disagreement over the meaning of its name: while "Pass of the Virgin" has been the most common interpretation since at least the days James Bruce visited Ethiopia, Huntingford and Beckingham state that it means "pass of canna plants".
The article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia from its emergence as an empire under the Aksumites to its current form as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as well as the history of other areas in what is now Ethiopia such as the Afar Triangle. The Ethiopian Empire (Abyssinia) was first founded by Ethiopian people in the Ethiopian Highlands. Due to migration and imperial expansion, it grew to include many other primarily Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities, including Oromos, Amhara, Somalis, Tigray, Afars, Sidama, Gurage, Agaw and Harari, among others.
Fasil Kenema Sport Club is an Ethiopian Sport club based in Gondar, Ethiopia. They are a member of the Ethiopian Football Federation and play in the Ethiopian Premier League, the top division of football in Ethiopia.
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