St George Cathedral Commissioned by Emperor Menelik II t... - Secret World

Menelik II Ave, ??? ???, Etiopia

by Freyan Castillo


St George Cathedral Commissioned by Emperor Menelik II to commemorate his stunning 1896 defeat of the Italians in Adwa, and dedicated to St George (Ethiopia’s patron saint), whose icon was carried into the battle, this Piazza cathedral is one of Addis' most beautiful churches. The grey stone exterior is easily outdone by the interior’s flashes of colour and art. Sections of ceiling glow sky-blue and boast gilded stars, while the outer walls of the innermost shrine are covered in paintings and mosaics by the renowned Afewerk Tekle.The church, built in traditional octagonal form and with a severe neoclassical style, was completed in 1911 with the help of Greek, Armenian and Indian artists. Empress Zewditu (in 1916) and Emperor Haile Selassie (in 1930) were both crowned here. In the grounds just north of the cathedral is the museum.