Monastery of Debre Mariam, Bahir Dar

Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Admire the colorful murals and icons of Monastery of Debre Mariam, a thatched Ethiopian Orthodox complex built on a Lake Tana island. Founded in the mid-14th century, the monastery boasts an extravagant manuscript library with Ge'ez inscriptions on goatskin. In the 19th century, Emperor Tewodros II commissioned the present-day traditional-style structure, whose simple design houses some exquisite icon images. Friendly church deacons will explain the significance of the imagery and colors. You can access the site by either papyrus tankwa or motorboat, though the monastery's founder Abuna Tadewos Tsalalesh was reportedly able to part water in order to walk to the mainland. Look for people constructing tankwa on site. With our international travel planner, Bahir Dar attractions like Monastery of Debre Mariam can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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  • I take a boat to this old and amazing monastery with my friends. The church is very old it has 900 years old with old birhana books and cross. If you got the lake monastery don't miss to see...  more »
  • We came here across the lake by boat and it was worth the trip as this circular monastery has fabulous painting which tell bible stories.  more »
  • If you are a religious person, you should visit this church. If you are lucky you can even talk to the priests. This is one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
  • The lake is full of monasteries like this one. Each has unique artifacts and worth a visit. Many do not allow women to visit so ask before you go.

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