Fasil Ghebbi – What you must know

Gondar Castles (Fasil Ghebbi) (Photo credit: DamienHR)

Among Ethiopia’s the numerous historical sites, there is one area that stands apart from the rest, well equipped with essential amenities like shuttle buses and several other facilities for tourist convenience, it is popularly known as Fasil Ghebbi, also know as the Royal enclosure. A first time visitor can easily misjudged its years of existence, which is supposed to be around 1635 but had so far been enlarged over the years by its various influential tenants. The ancient building had suffered incalculable damages due to an earthquake that affected it in 1704; it was also bombed by invading British Soldiers during the Second World War. As a result, many positive changes have been effected over the years especially by UNESCO, all in a bid to preserve its historical facts.

Gondar Castles (Fasil Ghebbi) (Photo credit: DamienHR)

Fasil Ghebbi had once been the palace of King Fasilides including many of his successors for many years. Also, it is an area surrounded by stone wall of 900m and houses structures like churches, palaces, monasteries and other buildings that depicts signs of Arab, Hindu, Portuguese and Axumite dominance, only to be transformed by Jesuit missionaries to a more elaborate style.

Among all the structures that are located inside Fasil Ghebbi, only one stand apart. It is called the Fasilides’ Castle, a 111 foot tall structure, built in three levels, it comprises of dining room, prayer room and a balcony for overall survey of the neighboring cities. Some other notable areas in this castle are the ancient bathing pool, which is equipped with equipments for generating steam, staircase that links the castle, halls, library and some cages that were reported to have housed some Abyssinian Lions till early 90s. Some of the churches that are located right inside Fasil Ghebbi are Mikael, Kidus Asasame and Gemjabet Maryam which is know to housed the remains of King Fasilides till date.

Many of the structures that are constructed within Fasil Ghebbi are undoubtedly amazing feats, one of the enigmatic structures constructed within is Iyasu’s palace, once reported to be greater than the house of Solomon, because of its lavish decorations with all manner of expensive ornaments. As time progresses, many of the artifacts in Fasil Ghebbi were looted overnight, it is now basically the shadow of its formal self

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