Debre Damo Monastery

Debre Damo Monastery was founded by Abuna Aregawi, one of the nine saints, in 6th century. Tradition has that while Abuna Aregawi was praying at the foothill, God sent him serpent with St. Michel. The serpent curled around the waist of Abuna Aregawi, pulled him up and put on the top of amba, a flat topped mountain; rises to 3000 m. Then, King Gebre Meskel built the monastery with typical Axumite architecture. It is here visitors appreciate the wood and white washed stone involved in the construction. The monks may show to visitors the pools with water, the place where Abuna Aregawi was vanished and hermits cave. It is climbed by 18 ms long rope that is only made of animal skin. Only men are allowed to visit.

Some 76 kilometers from Axum city is the monastery of Debre damo (closed to women) which is the said to have the oldest existing intact church in Ethiopia. Local tradition says that Abune Aregawi one of the nine saints, built the church in the 16th century. The monastery of Debre Damo can only be reached by rope pulley.