A town of northern Ethiopia east-southeast of Gondar. It is noted for its 11 churches hewn from volcanic bedrock, dating to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Bent conjectured that the seat of government was transferred to Axum from Jeha, which he identified with the ancient Ava; and according to a document quoted by Achille Raffray the third Christian monarch transferred it from Axum to Lalibela.
They appear to be connected with Semitic sun-worship, and are assigned by Bent to the same period as the temple at Baalbek, though some antiquarians would place them much earlier; the representation of a castle in a single stone seems to bear some relation to the idea worked out in the monolith churches of Lalibela described byRaffray.
They are exemplified by the huge rock hewn churches in Lalibela, said to be built with ' the help of angels ' .