Bahir Dar

BAHIR DAR BAHIR DAR is a pleasant city; situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana its streets are lined with palm trees and plants.  Bahir Dar is one of a popular stop for travelers making their way through Ethiopia, Lake Tana monasteries, Blue Nile Falls and the colorful daily Bahir Dar Market.   About […]

BAHIR DAR

BAHIR DAR is a pleasant city; situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana its streets are lined with palm trees and plants.  Bahir Dar is one of a popular stop for travelers making their way through Ethiopia, Lake Tana monasteries, Blue Nile Falls and the colorful daily Bahir Dar Market.

 

About 35 km from Bahir Dar, there is the Blue Nile Falls or Tis Abay (in Amharic) where waters of the Nile plunge over a cliff that is 50 meters long and 400 meters wide. Although much of the water is now diverted to a power dam, it is still a spectacular sight: smaller than Niagara Falls, but amazingly scenic.

 

Lake Tana Monasteries3Lake Tana is the primary reason that Bahir Dar exists.  It is a huge lake – one of the largest in Africa and it feeds the Blue Nile River ( or Abay) which flows up to the White Nile and on to the Mediterranean with an area of 3600 km sq. There are 37 islands dotted all over the lake and 30 of them house some of the world’s oldest churches and monasteries of great cultural and historical interest. They contain beautiful manuscripts, objects of worship and crosses dating back to 14 century and after.  In some of these monasteries, women are not allowed to enter. Be aware of the traditions and rules of the Ethiopian Orthodox church when you visit.  Excursions boat trip is made from Bahir Dar to explore the islands monasteries of Lake Tana one of the famous and most frequently visited monastery is  Ura Kidane Meret, has the largest church – a classic tukol style building which is round kind of looks like a yurt.  There is also an interesting small museum here that has ancient traditional instruments, cooking utensils and an interesting example of a beehive.  Honey is a fairly large agricultural product here and it is very good!  The inside of all of these monastery churches starts out with a hallway that goes all the way around the center which is enclosed (storing the replica of the ark). The walls of the enclosed part are covered with very colorful paintings all depicting a specific religious story.