Though most of the travelers to Ethiopia visit the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the rock-hewn churches of Tigray offer the most spectacular views and the long Christian tradition. Until the mid 1960’s, the churches were almost unknown outside Tigray itself. The rock- hewn churches of Tigray have been described by the British academic Ivy Pearce as ‘the greatest of the historical-cultural heritages of Ethiopian people’.
The churches in Tigray are generally semi-monolithic (only partially separated from the congregation rock) or built in to the pre-existing caves. There are over 200 rock-hewn churches from Gueralta to Adwa most of them easily accessible although some are situated on the mountain ranges and involve climbing through fairly difficult terrain. But, all this somehow adds to the attraction of the churches and offers an incredible scenery of the surrounding countryside which makes the trip to these churches very enjoyable and rewarding.