It is a history and mystery frozen in stone, its soul alive with the rites and awe of Christianity at its most ancient and unbending. Lalibela has one of the highest concentration of Churches of such architectural elegance and overall engineering sophistication in one spot. The 13 Churches in two complexes are said to represent a reproduction of Jerusalem. Their lighting systems, channels, water works, network of interconnected subterranean passageways and the sheer magnitude of the whole project are mind boggling.
The Churches are attributed to King Lalibela (ca 1200 AD) who was later canonized by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. King Lalibela is said to have taken 24 years to construct these Churches.
Churches Near To Lalibela:
Genete Mariam Genete Mariam: is one of the most interesting outlying churches, a large monolith carved into a pink-tinged outcrop near the source of the Tekaze River. Supported by pillars, the church is very different from any of the excavation in Lalibela that it is not hidden within a trench, but carved openly on a rocky hilltop – though the cover of scaffolding rather detracts from the impact of seeing from afar according to tradition Genata Mariam was excavated during the reign of Yakuno Amlak, the king who 'restored' the Solomonic line in the early 13th century.
Yimrehanna Kristos :which is Lying 42KM northeast of Lalibela,Yimrehanna Kristos it is an exquisite Church, a masterpiece of Axumite wood and stone construction and renowned for its interior decoration, it’s beautiful wooden coffer ceiling inlaid with hexagons and medallions with both figurative and geometric motifs.
Naakute Le’Abe : King Nakuto abdicated his throne in 1270 AD and went to a cave to lead a hermit's life. This cave has ever since became a monastery and has dramatic setting.
Asheten Mariam Church it’s one of the 13th C. rock hewn monastery found about 8 kms from Lalibela lying on an altitude of almost 4,000m. It is carved out of a cleft into a cliff face. The setting of the church and the view on the way up is a rewarding experience.