Welcome to Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Embassy © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : አዲስ አበባ
Geographical Location:
Central Ethiopia, altitude 2300 metres at the foot of Mount Entoto.
Population : 3,384,569
Interesting Facts:
Founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II, it is a chartered city (ras gez astedader) with the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous other continental and international organizations.
Main Sites :
Addis Ababa City Hall, Lion of Jodah Monument, Tiglachin monument, St.Georges Carthdral, Yakatit 12 Square, Addis Ababa Railway Station, Arat Kilo monument, Meskel Square, Grand Anwar Mosque, mercato market, Holy Trinity Cathedral.
 Ethiopian-Flag300 Axum Men Under Tree © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : አክሱም
Language Written Locally : Ge'ez
Geographical Location: 
Northern Ethiopia
Population : 56,500
Interesting Facts:
Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from about 400 BC into the 10th century.  The kingdom was also arbitrarily identified as Abyssinia, Ethiopia, and India in medieval writings. Local legend claims that the Queen of Sheba lived there.
Main Sites :
Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, Chapel of the Tablet, Stelae, Ezana Stone.

The Federal Democratic

Republic of







Official Lanugage :  Amharic
Other Languages Spoken :
Tigrinya, Ge'ez  (liturgical only, no longer spoken), Tigre, Argobba, Harari, East Gurage, Silt'e  (Ulbareg, Inneqor), Wolane, Zay, Gafat  (extinct), Soddo, Muher, Goggot, Inor, Mesmes  (extinct), Indegen, Iner, Awngi, Kunfal, Qimant, Xamtanga, Afar, Alaba, Arbore, Baiso, Bussa, Burji, Daasanach, Dirasha, Gawwada, Gedeo, Hadiyya, Kambaata, Konso, Libido, Oromo, Saho, Sidamo, Somali, Tsamai, Aari, Anfillo, Bambassi, Basketo, Bench, Shinasha, Chara, Dime, Dizi, Dorze, Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, Ganza, Gayil, Hamer-Banna, Hozo, Kachama-Ganjule, Kafa, Karo, Koorete, Male, Melo, Nayi, Oyda, Seze, Shekkacho, Sheko,Wolaytta, Yemsa, Zayse-Zergulla, Anuak , Berta, Gumuz, Kacipo-Balesi,Komo, Kwama, Kwegu, Majang, Me'en, Murle, Mursi, Nuer, Nyangatom, Opuuo, Shabo, Suri, Uduk, Weyto  (extinct), Ongota, Rer Bare  (extinct) English and Arabic are also widely spoken.


Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and is the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

It has been the working language of the government, the military, and of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church throughout medieval and modern times.

Outside Ethiopia, Amharic is the language of some 2.7 million people. It has approximately 17.5 million native speakers.


Name in Local Language :
ኢትዮጵያ (የኢትዮጵያፌዴራላዊ
Currency : Birr (ETB)
Capital City :  Addis Ababa
Official Written Script : Amharic
Official Language :  Amharic
Population : 84,320,987
Total Area Covered :  1,104,300km²
Highest Point :  Ras Dejen (4,550 m)
Telephone Calling Code :  +251
Internet TLD :  .et
National Food : Wat, injera, bunna
National Flower : Calla Lily



Amharian Lyrics
Whedefit Gesgeshi Woude Henate Ethiopia
Yäzêgennät Keber Bä-Ityopp'yachen S'änto 
Tayyä Hezbawinnät Dar Eskädar Bärto. 
Läsälam Läfeteh Lähezboch Näs'annat;
Bä'ekkulennät Bäfeqer Qomänal Bä'andennät.
Mäsärätä S'enu Säbe'enan Yalsharen;
Hezboch Nän Läsera Bäsera Yänoren.
Denq Yäbahel Mädräk Yä'ahuri Qers Baläbet;
Yätäfät'ro S'ägga Yä'akuri Qers Baläbet;
Ennet'äbbeqeshallän Alläbben Adära;
Ityopp'yachchen nuri Eññam Banchi Ennekura!

English Version
March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia
Respect for citizenship is strong in our Ethiopia;
National pride is seen, shining from one side to another.
For peace, for justice, for the freedom of peoples,
In equality and in love we stand united.
Firm of foundation, we do not dismiss humanness;
We are peoples who live through work.
Wonderful is the stage of tradition, mistress of proud heritage,
Mother of natural virtue, mother of a valorous people.
We shall protect you - we have a duty;
Our Ethiopia, live! And let us be proud of you!


Amharic requires very specific fonts and as such, can present difficulties if the appropriate fonts are not installed and supported, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Ethiopic characters.

Amharic-Ethiopia Style Guide


Royal Enclosure Gonder © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : ጎንደር
Geographical Location: North-west Ethiopia
Population : 231,977 (est) 
Interesting Facts:
The old imperial capital and capital of the historic Begemder Province, nicknamed The Camelot of Africa because of the presence of a group of royal castles.  Founded by Emperor Fasilides c1635. 
Main Sites :
Fasilides castle, Iyasu's Palace, Dawit's Hall, Mentewab's Castle,  Ras Mikael Sehul's Palace, Debre Berhan Selassie Church.
Lalibela After Mass © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : ላሊበላ
Geographical Location : Northern Ethiopia
Population : 14,668 (est)
Interesting Facts:
Famous for its monolithic rock-cut churches, Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Aksum, and centre of pilgrimage for much of the country. During the reign of Saint Gebre Mesqel Lalibela (a member of the Zagwe Dynasty, who ruled Ethiopia in the late 12th century and early 13th century) the current town of Lalibela was known as Roha. The saintly king was given this name due to a swarm of bees said to have surrounded him at his birth, which his mother took as a sign of his future reign as Emperor of Ethiopia.
Main Sites :
Rock-hewn churches: Bet Medhane Alem,  Bete Giyorgis,  Bete Amanuel.   Monastery of Ashetan Maryam, Yimrehane Kristos church.
Yeha Book © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : ይሐ
Geographical Location: Tigray region, Ethiopia
Population : Not Available
Interesting Facts:
Home to the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia : the temple of Yeha, c700 BC .
Main Sites :
Temple of Yeha, Grat Beal Gebri, Monastery founded by Abba Aftse (one of the Nine Saints).

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VISIT OUR COUNTRY PAGES for useful information and to see more of Prof Raisman's photos

Xi'an Bell Tower © G Raisman

Yeha Book

Lake Titicaca © G Raisman
Zagorsk Market © G Raisman  Tunisia
China Ethiopia Peru Russia Tunisia

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