Monastery of Debre Mariam, Bahir Dar

3.9
#5 of 16 in Things to do in Bahir Dar
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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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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Monastery of Debre Mariam reviews

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Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • This out of the way monastery was interesting and worth the trip on the lake. It is fairly stark but had an unusual wooden "bell" for calling people in. 
    This out of the way monastery was interesting and worth the trip on the lake. It is fairly stark but had an unusual wooden "bell" for calling people in.  more »
  • Visiting these monsteries, you get a sense of the great tradition that has been in these parts for many hundreds of years. The use of murals to tell the gospel to a largely illiterate people is known....  more
    Visiting these monsteries, you get a sense of the great tradition that has been in these parts for many hundreds of years. The use of murals to tell the gospel to a largely illiterate people is known....  more »
Google
  • The nearest monastery in Lake Tana. There are beautiful birds if you are interested.
  • Closed when we got there, although many ethiopian families wanted to get in as well. We were still charged for the entrance. One window was slightly opened, the paintings looked very modern, not nearly as interesting historically speaking as others we saw.

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