Gondar

Gondar, or Gonder, is a city in northern Ethiopia. It’s known for the walled Fasil Ghebbi fortress and palace compound, once the seat of Ethiopian emperors. Dominating it is the immense 17th-century castle of Emperor Fasilides, which combines Portuguese, Indian and local architectural styles. Outside the complex is Debre Berhan Selassie church, with an interior of elaborate murals, including a ceiling of faces.

On the city’s outskirts, the mountainside Kuskuam Palace complex was built for Empress Mentewab in the 18th century. Nearby, the Bath of Fasilides is a rectangular pool overlooked by a 2-story building thought to have been a royal residence. North of the city is Woleka, a former Jewish village with craft stalls and a deserted synagogue. Farther northeast, hiking trails wind through Simien Mountains National Park, home to endangered Walia ibex goats, Gelada baboons and the Ras Dashen peak. Southwest of the city, birdwatchers are drawn to the town of Gorgora on the shores of vast Lake Tana.

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