Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gondar: The Camelot of Africa

When pre-twentieth century Africa is studied in schools it is the slave trade, its awful consequences and the later colonial Scramble for Africa of the nineteenth century which tend to attract the focus of both teachers and students.

Often overlooked is the only country which successfully resisted European incursion and retained its own sovereignty: perhaps its late twentieth century tragedies of famine and attendant local and civil wars do little to persuade the casual historian to look further in to its past.

Yet Ethiopia’s history stretches back thousands of years: it was the second ever nation, after Armenia, to adopt Christianity as its state religion, around 324 AD. During the fifteenth century it initiated contact with Europe (not, as many would assume, the other way around) with diplomatic messages sent to King Henry V of England and emissaries sent to Spain.  Then, in the early seventeenth century the city of Gondar was founded: it would eventually become known as the Camelot of Africa. Its complex of imperial palaces and associated buildings stand to this day.

Read More and check out beautiful pictures of Gonder