Living in a tourist town has its pros and cons. Pro- Lots of people are always coming through. Con- My excuses not to tour said people around are becoming incredibly feeble. But, my good friend Chad cracked my tour aversion and finally got me to go to Debre Birhan Selassie Church, one of the more famous churches in Ethiopia, a hop, skip and jump away from my doorstep.
Debre Birhan Selassie loosely translates to Mountain of Light Holy Trinity Church. That fact alone got me star tourist status immediately. Gotta love Peace Corps language training. The Australians thought me and Chad were super gobez.
The typical big eyed floating head paintings you see in many hotels and restaurants around the country are modeled after the artwork in this church. It is one of the more famous orthodox churches in the country, and for just 40 birr they will doctor your birth certificate too! (Seriously. The lack of record keeping here means you can pick what year you were born if you need an ID).
Painted in portraits from top to bottom, scenes of biblical characters and some not so biblical characters cover the walls. This is actually one of the only places in the world there is a depiction of Muhammed, since in Islam you cannot draw living things.
Being some of the only tourists who can speak Amharic, I was able to get a student discount on my ticket (what up no date on the BU ID) and got a personal tour from the priest, who seemed to like me… a lot. Could be a difference in personal space thing though.
St. George is thought of as the patron saint of Ethiopia. We have Georgis draft beer, about 100 churches named Georgis, and of course a prominent spot on the wall of DebreBirhan Selassie.
And some other photos of the grounds: