The Menelik Palace, sometimes also known as the Imperial Palace, is a palatial compound in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For years known as the Gebi, it was the seat of the power of Ethiopia's emperors. Within its confines are several residences, halls, chapels, and working buildings. Today it contains the offices and residence of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
The palace grounds contain different churches. The most important is the Ta'eka Negest (Resting Place of Kings) Ba'eta Le Mariam Monastery. It has a large Imperial crown at the top of the dome. The church serves as a mausoleum for Emperor Menelik II, his wife Empress Taitu, and Empress Zewditu, his daughter and eventual successor. Other churches within the grounds are the Se'el Bet Kidane Meheret Church (Our Lady Covenant of Mercy) and the Debre Mengist St. Gabriel Church.
During the rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, the palace grounds were used as a prison to house many notables of the government of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Emperor included. Built during this time was the Shengo Hall, accommodating the country's legislature, and the Presidential Office Building.
In 2010, construction began on a new residence for Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his family. The project, which was estimated to cost 80 million birr for a two-storey house, was being supervised by Meles's wife, Azeb Mesfin. Also part of the project were guest houses worth 25 million birr, and a thorough refurbishment of the palace gardens.
Te'eka Negist Mausoleum
The Shengo hall was built by the Derg at a cost of $18 million. It was prefabricated in Finland, and, at the time of its construction, was the largest prefabricated building in the world. It was opened on 9 September 1987 after the promulgation of the new constitution and election of the assembly, to a grand ceremony that counted Presidents Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Hassan Gouled Aptidon of Djibouti and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt as guests. After the fall of the Mengistu government, the Ethiopian Parliament convened its previous chambers, and today the building is used as an occasional meeting place.
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