October 7, 2022

To reach Abuna Yemata Guh, Ethiopia’s 5th-century ‘chapel in the sky,’ pilgrims must climb a 650-foot cliff

If churches were assessed by their risk factor, Abuna Yemata Guh would be our new Sistine Chapel. Perched 650 feet above a steep cliff in Northern Ethiopia, visitors face a 45-minute climb up the cliff’s vertical face in order to access the precariously positioned church. Dating back to the 5th century, history has it that its founder Father Yemata built the chapel to be closer to heavenly spirits; however, others claim it was a strategic move to avoid his enemies...

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