One of Tigre’s most interesting features is a proliferation of rock-hewn churches, the bulk of which either lay along the main road between Adigrat and Mekele or else can be easily visited from it. The most numerous cluster of churches, a group of about 30, is carved into the rocky faces of the mountains in the Gerhalta region. There are also at least ten rock-hewn churches that can be visited by public transport or as a short walk from the main Adigrat-Mekele road.

Little is known about the age of the churches. However, there is a general consensus that the churches predate those at Lalibela, though few churches in Tigre are as immediately impressive as the ones in Lalibela. Nevertheless, you cannot help but feel a sense of wonder as you enter each church, not only for the craftsmanship, but also for the antiquity and the air of sanctity it has absorbed over centuries of uninterrupted use.

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