Clockwise from top: Adigrat panoramic view, Cathedral of the Holy Savior, Debre Damo Monastery, typical street, downtown.
|• Total||18.77 km2 (7.25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,457 m (8,061 ft)|
|• Density||3,703/km2 (9,590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+03:00)|
|Area code(s)||(+251) 34|
Adigrat (Ge'ez: ዓዲግራት) is a city and separate woreda in the Tigray Region (or kilil) of Ethiopia. It is located in the Misraqawi Zone at longitude and latitude Coordinates: , with an elevation of 2,457 metres (8,061 ft) above sea level and below a high ridge to the west. Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea. Adigrat was part of Ganta Afeshum woreda before a separate woreda was created for the city.
Adrigrat first acquired importance when Ras Sabagadis made it his capital in 1818; it declined in importance after his death in 1831, although the missionary Samuel Gobat had joined countless Ethiopians in fleeing there for safety in the days immediately after Sabagadis' death. When the missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf passed through Adigrat in April 1842, "almost the whole is in ruins", and observed that a nearby village, Kersaber, was "much larger than Adigrat."
During the First Italian-Abyssinian War, the Italians occupied Adigrat on 25 March 1895, and used it as a base to support their advance south to Mek'ele. General Antonio Baldissera refortified the settlement after the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa, but Emperor Menelik II insisted on its surrender at the beginning of the peace talks that concluded the war; Baldissera was ordered to evacuate Adigrat, which he did 18 May 1896. Augustus B. Wylde a few years later described Adigrat as having a Saturday market of medium size.
The Italians again occupied Adigrat at the beginning of the Second Italian-Abyssinian War 7 October 1935. The Italians were met there on the 11th by Ras Haile Selassie Gugsa, who had been courted by the Italians to ignite a widespread defection of the Tigrayan aristocracy; instead, he had been soundly defeated a few days before by Dejazmach Haile Kebbede of Wag, and presented himself to the invaders with only 1200 followers. Anthony Mockler notes that despite the fact the young Ras shook Ethiopian morale, "this was the first and last open defection to the Italians of an important noble and his men."
Adigrat was captured by rebels in the Woyane rebellion 25 September 1943, forcing the Ethiopian government administrators to flee to neighboring Eritrea.
By 1958 the city was one of 27 places in Ethiopia ranked as a First Class Township.
During the 1970s, Agazi Comprehensive High School, and together with the town's Catholic junior high school, they became centers of anti-government dissent. The presence outside of town of a large military base, served as a focus for protesting students, and also as a source for their hopes of a military coup.
Adigrat's dependence on merchandising and trade meant that the Derg's imposition of commercial and trnasport restrictions were strongly felt and resented. Under the Derg business licenses became progressively more difficult to get, and traders' trucks were requisitioned for the transport of war-related materials to army bases in Eritrea. Permits of travel were required; convoys were introduced by 1976; and the road links to Asmara were virtually broken, largely by the ELF, by the late 1970s.
During the first years of the Ethiopian Civil War, the fledgling Tigrayan People's Liberation Front drew support from these groups. Derg forces took Adigrat during their Operation Adwa in summer 1988. The same day that the Third Revolutionary Army was crushed at Battle of Shire, 19 February 1989, government troops and officials evacuated Adigrat. According to Africa Watch they caused widespread destruction in the town before they left.
Adigrat is located in northern Ethiopia. By road it is 864 km (537 mi) northeast of Addis Ababa and 118 km (73 mi) north of Mek'ele, and 191 km (119 mi) east of Shire. The Huga river runs through Adigrat. The city is spread widely on both banks of the river. Adigrat is located at altitude ranges from 2000 to 3000 m above sea level. The city has several prominent hills; one of the most prominent is Debre Damo which has a monastery at its peak.
Adigrat has a Mediterranean climate. The overall climate throughout the year is mild and dry. The annual rainfall ranges between 400 and 600 mm, with most of the rain falling in the rainy season (June up to September).
|Climate data for Adigrat, Tigray, Ethiopia|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.8
|Average low °C (°F)||4.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||6
Adigrat, the capital of the Agamé district, has a rich aristocratic and political history. In town are the remnants of two castles from the Zemene Mesafint ("Era of Princes"),(ዘመነ መሳፍንት) one owned by Dej Desta, the other by the Ras Sebhat Aregawi. Other sites of interest:
- 19th century Adigrat Chirkos - was strategically built on a hill near Dej Desta's castle, so that Desta could see the church from his bedroom balcony.
- A few years after World War II land was obtained in the center of Adigrat at a site called "Welwalo". In view of the possibility that one day it might become a church, the "Holy Saviour" was built and used regularly as a parish church. After the establishment of the Ethiopian Catholic hierarchy in 1961 that church was destined to become the cathedral of the Eparchy of Adigrat. After appropriate modifications were made the formal and official consecration of the Cathedral Catholic of the Holy Saviour took place on 19 April 1969. It has an Italian design, but incorporates work by Ethiopian artist Afewerk Tekle.
- Italian War cemetery commemorates some 765 Italian soldiers who died between 1935 and 1938.
- Adigrat also hosts a market, and a newly constructed community park.
Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this town has a total population of 57,588, of whom 26,010 are men and 31,578 women. The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 94.01% reporting that as their religion, while 3.02% of the population were Catholics, and 2.68% were Muslim.
The 1994 census reported it had a total population of 37,417 of whom 17,352 were men and 20,065 were women.
The largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Ethiopia, Addis Pharmaceuticals Factory SC, is located in Adigrat. The city has a branch offices of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Dashen, Awash, Wegagen, and Ambessa. Adigrat's Chamber of Commerce actively organizes many of the business in the town. A modern water supply system was built at a cost of 126.4 million birr and was inaugurated on 27 June 2017.
Arts and culture
Tihlo is a dish unique to Adigrat. It is prepared by making kneading barley flour into soft balls and preparing a meat stew with berbere, an Ethiopian spice, onions, tomato paste, water and salt. The dish is eaten using a fork shaped utensil, which is unique in Ethiopian cuisine.
The city is renowned for its white honey and tej, an Ethiopian honey-wine.
The city is represented in the Ethiopian premier league by Adigrat University's Welwalo FC.
Adigrat is located along Ethiopian Highway 2, which connects the city with Addis Abeba and Mekelle. In Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 2, turns off the main highway to the west in the direction of Adwa. To the north of Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 20 connects the city to Kokobay and to Asmara in Eritrea.
The education system in Adigrat engages thousands of students in public and private schools.The first high school in Adigrat is Agazi Comprehensive High School which was established in the 1950s. As of 2013 there were 13 public schools and 7 private schools.
Adigrat is home to the Adigrat University which serves over 14,000 students. The technical school in Adigrat include TVET and Industrial College. There are two private colleges, namely, Ethio-lmage and New Millennium College.
The city has a public library with approximately 20,000 books.
- Yohannes Haile-Selassie, paleoanthropologist
- Miruts Yifter, Olympic gold medal winning long distance runner
- Seyoum Mesfin, politician and diplomat
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- Augustus B. Wylde, Modern Abyssinia (London: Methuen, 1901), p. 494
- Mockler, Anthony (2003) . Haile Selassie's War. New York: Olive Branch. pp. 61ff. ISBN 1-56656-473-5.
- Young, John (1997). Peasant Revolution in Ethiopia. Cambridge University Press. p. 94. ISBN 0521591988.
- Gebru Tareke, The Ethiopian Revolution: War in the Horn of Africa (New Haven: Yale University, 2009), p. 284
- Mpofu, Thomas (May 2011). "An evaluation of the effectiveness of flood disaster mitigation measures in the city of Adigrat, Tigray region, Ethiopia". Journal of Disaster Risk Studies. 3 (2): 384–400.
- Assefa, Alembrhan (October 2013). "Major causes of organ condemnation and economic loss in cattle slaughtered at Adigrat municipal abattoir, northern Ethiopia". Veterinary World. 6: 734–738.
- Frances Linzee Gordon, Jean Bernard Carillet Ethiopia and Eritrea (Lonely Planet, 2003) pp. 168f.
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- "Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Branch Offices". www.combanketh.et/. Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- Prasad, Durga (2017). "The Impact of Workforce Diversity on Organizational Effectiveness: (A Study of Selected Banks in Tigray Region of Ethiopia)". International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR). 6: 430.
- "Residents of Ethiopia's Adigrat Hope Peace Will Bring Improved Economy, Better Life". VOA. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- Abdisa, Hawi (24 June 2017). "Ministry Completes 1b Br Worth Water Projects". Addis Fortune. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Gebrehiwot, Bereket (16 June 2009). "Tihlo". Nutrition for the World. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Hailesilasse, Asmeret (11 August 2013). "Beles comes to Town". Addis Fortune. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Gebremariam, Tadesse; Brhane, Gebregziabher (2014). "Determination Of Quality And Adulteration Effects Of Honey From Adigrat And Its Surrounding Areas" (PDF). International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research. 2 (10): 71–76.
- "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "Agazi School Alumni Association". Agazi School Alumni Association-North America. Agazi School Alumni Association. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- World Bank (February 2013). "Adigrat Sanitary Landfill Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report". World Bank Group.
- "Adigrat University". adu.edu.et. Adigrat University. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Adigrat.|
Media related to Adigrat at Wikimedia Commons
- John Graham, "Tigray - Axum and Adua - Part 1" (Addis Tribune)