This article on the Ethiopian rock-cut churches in Lalibela ran in Budget Travel. It’s archived below.
Nearly eight centuries ago, 11 churches were carved into the Ethiopian earth. You don’t have to be a believer to be intrigued by their mystery or awed by their majesty.
By Stephan Faris
The pageant overfills the dusty road. Under the hot African sun, a knot of clergy in maroon, peach, and royal blue robes raises parasols and brass crosses. When the parade pauses, a cleric wipes the foreheads of two high priests, wrapped in velvet and balancing replicas of the tablets of Moses on their heads. A loudspeaker pulses a tenor’s chant, and 20 men form two lines for a swaying dance to the jangle of handheld brass rattles.