Church of Saint George, Lalibela
|Church of Saint George|
St. George Church, carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross
The Church of St. George (Amharic: Bete Giyorgis?) is one of eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela, a city in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Originally named Roha (Warwar), the historical and religious site was named Lalibela after the King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty, who commissioned its construction. He is regarded as a saint by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
The church was carved from a type of volcanic tuff. This is the sole architectural material that was used in the structure. It has been dated to the late 12th or early 13th century AD, and thought to have been constructed during the reign of King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, of the late Zagwe dynasty. It is among the best known and last built of the eleven churches in the Lalibela area, and has been referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, sought to recreate Jerusalem, and structured the churches' landscape and religious sites in such a way as to achieve such a feat. “The churches at Lalibela are clustered in two major groups, one representing the earthly Jerusalem, and the other representing the heavenly Jerusalem. Located directly between them is a trench representing the River Jordan”. The dimensions of the trench are 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters, and there is a small baptismal pool outside the church, which stands in an artificial trench.
According to Ethiopian cultural history, Bete Giyorgis was built after King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty had a vision in which he was instructed to construct the church; Saint George and God have both been referred to as the one who gave him the instructions.
- Oldest churches in the world
- List of colossal sculpture in situ
- Saint George: Devotions, traditions and prayers
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- "Lalibela:The Eighth Wonder of the World". Tzu Chi Foundation. Retrieved 10 November 2006.
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- "Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 10 November 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Biete Ghiorgis.|
- Fine Art Photos from the Church
- Gallery of photos of the church's interior and exterior
- Photos of the town and church of Lalibela
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