Gondar is a city like no other, scattered with ancient castles,
churches and endowed with magnificent mountain scenery and a
pleasantly cool climate. Situated 460 miles (748km) north of Addis,
this is the next clockwise step after Bahar Dar on the official
Historic Route through Ethiopia.
Gondar was the capital of Ethiopia for 200 hundred years, which
accounts for the abundant imperial architecture, most densely
concentrated in the Royal Enclosure which contains five castles.
The oldest, and most architecturally interesting, is the Castle of
Fasilades which has Axumite, Portuguese and Indian elements. Near
the edge of Gondar is the Church of Debre Birhan Selassie which
dates from 1682 and contains the country's most celebrated ceiling
Gondar is also a natural base for treks into the Simien
Mountains and many companies tout their services. Choose carefully
and get the opinion of recently returned trekkers before committing
to a particular guide.