Debre Damo

Debre Damo is the name of a flat-topped mountain, or amba, and a 6th-century monastery in northern Ethiopia. The mountain is a steeply rising plateau of trapezoidal shape, about 1000 by 400 meters in dimension. It sits at an elevation of 2216 meters above sea level.

It is located west of Adigrat, in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the Tigray Region.

The monastery, accessible only by rope up a sheer cliff, 50 ft. high, is known for its collection of manuscripts and for having the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia still in its original style, and can only be visited by men. Tradition claims the monastery was founded in the sixth century by Abuna Aregawi.


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