Debre Markos

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Debre Markos
ደብረ ማርቆስ
A street in Debre Markos
A street in Debre Markos
Debre Markos is located in Ethiopia
Debre Markos
Debre Markos
Location in Ethiopia
Coordinates: 10°20′N 37°43′E / 10.333°N 37.717°E / 10.333; 37.717
Country Ethiopia
Region Amhara
ZoneEast Gojjam Zone
2,446 m (8,025 ft)
 • Total262,497
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)+251

Debre Markos (Amharic: ደብረ ማርቆስ, romanizedDäbrä Marḳos) is a city, separate woreda, and administrative seat of the East Gojjam Zone in Amhara Region, Ethiopia.



The city is named Debre Markos after its principal church, which was established in 1869 and dedicated to St. Markos.[1] Debre Markos was the capital of Tekle Haymanot, Negus of Gojjam during his reign and as a result, Pankhurst notes, the population of Debre Markos "fluctuated greatly with the presence of absence of the army" of the Negus. He states that when the Nigus resided in the town, it had between 20,000 and 40,000 inhabitants; in his absence, between 5,000 and 6,000. The explorer Pellegrino Matteucci (b. 1850) arrived at what was at that time named Monkorer on 3 June 1879, explored the neighboring area, then departed 20 June for Adwa and Massawa.[citation needed]

20th Century[edit]

The palace of Nigus Tekle Haimanot was remodeled in 1926 by his son Ras Hailu Tekle Haymanot, in the style of European buildings after his tour of Europe in the party of Ras Tefari. In 1935, the town had postal, telegraph, and telephone service.[1]

The Italians arrived in Debre Markos 20 May 1936. Through an interpreter, Achille Starace, who had arrived by plane, told the surprised local inhabitants that he had come to free them from their oppressors to their thorough bemusement. Debre Markos was later isolated and practically besieged by a revolt in 1938. General Ugo Cavallero, with sixty thousand men and supported by airplanes and tanks, had crushed the revolt by the end of May.[1] A major Italian fortification was located in the city during the existence of Italian East Africa, and captured by the British Gideon Force and Ethiopian Arbegnoch (or Resistance Fighters) 3 April 1941 during the East African Campaign.

In 1957, Nigus Tekle Haimanot School in Debre Markos was one of 9 provincial secondary schools in Ethiopia. The next year, the town was one of 27 places in Ethiopia ranked as a First Class Township. In 1960 a branch of the Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority had started operation in Debre Markos.[1]


As typical of the elevated portions of Ethiopia the climate is subtropical highland (Köppen: Cwb), despite the proximity to the Equator. March is the warmest month with 25.1 °C and July the coldest with 18.9 °C in the average monthly temperature. The fall of the rain is considerably irregular going from 12 mm in January to 309 mm in July, being therefore still the main differentiator of the seasons of the year.[2]


Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), in 2012 Debre Markos had a population of 262,497, of whom 129,921 were men and 132,576 women. The majority of residents, 97.03%, practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, while 1.7% and 1.1% of the population were Muslim and Protestants, respectively. [3]

The 1994 national census reported a total population for Debre Markos of 49,297 in 9,617 households, of whom 22,745 were men and 26,552 were women. The largest ethnic group of the town was reported to be the Amhara (97.12%) while the rest including Tigrayan, Oromo (0.67%) and others comprising less than 3% of the population. The majority of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 97.25% reporting that as their religion, while 1.88% were Muslim, and 0.81% were Protestant.[4]


The city had three highways and one airport, Debre Markos Airport but now it is not functional due to poor government attention.


Construction on Africa's first electric bus manufacturing factory began on 43 hectares of land in Debre Markos in January, 2007 by Rus Afro Trolleybus, a joint Russian-Ethiopian partnership. CEO and major shareholder Getachew Eshetu has predicted that the factory will have the capacity to manufacture 500 trolley buses per year, and employ 5,000 people.

Debre Markos is located close to a strategic mountain, Mount Chokea, which is one of the major sources for the water tower of Africa. The mountain is the source of over 40 rivers and is located around 60 km north of Debre Markos and at 4100 meters above sea level. It's also a home of diverse wildlife, birds, clean air which creates stimulating memories and relives stress.

Debre Markos is also known for being a producer of prolific writers, monuments, poetries, and spirituals. It is close to historical traditional schools, including Dima Giorgis Orthodox church, The Emperor Asrat, The Mysterious religion, and The Palace.


  1. ^ a b c d "Local History in Ethiopia" Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 6 December 2007)
  2. ^ "Debre Markos climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Debre Markos weather averages -". Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  3. ^ Census 2007 Tables: Amhara Region Archived November 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4.
  4. ^ 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Amhara Region, Vol. 1, part 1 Archived November 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.10, 2.17, Annex II.2 (accessed 9 April 2009)