Gondar – Who Made History And Who Destroyed It?

Boy takes photos of the ruined castles in Gondar

“You think animal rights and gender equality are a modern day realisation. The King and Queen of Ethiopia were already doing that 400 years ago.”

Geographical advantage

Elevated at 2600 metres, Gondar was the third capital of Ethiopia before Addis Ababa.

Its high elevation gave it a natural advantage to fend off enemies. The Italians were hiding in the Fasiledes castles when the Brits bombed most of the castles to the ground in order to force the Italians out “to help Ethiopians”. Most believed they just wanted to occupy Ethiopia themselves, disregarding the integrity of the castles with long history.

While we may never know the true intentions behind, the ruins remain one of the must-sees in Ethiopia.

Standing in front of the ruins, listening to the history was painful. Not because it was boring, but because it was heartbreaking.

Since hundreds of years ago, humans knew to say we have to protect our culture, our legacy. Yet, humans are the ones to ruin history even till this day.

You can’t help to root for Ethiopia when you’re standing on the soil of a once-glorious kingdom. Make you wonder what could’ve been if one part of history had played out differently.

One thing to save Ethiopia from being colonised is their high elevation. They were able to fend themselves from enemies suffering from acute mountain sickness charging from below. Having lived on high altitude gave them advantage to guard their land.

Intelligence and compassion in the 16th century

People from back in the days always seemed to be more intelligent. Built in the 16th century, the church that also served as a bath and flood navigator. It was the highlight of the trip. How brilliant it was for people to think of constructing an architecture that serves multiple purposes.

If that’s not the most monumental achievement, their King and Queen promoting animal rights and gender equality would top the list.

400 years ago, the King and Queen of Ethiopia were already promoting animal rights. They encouraged something similar to “Green Monday”. They also made sure there to be a similar male-to-female employee ratio in the palace to encourage females to take up more important roles. That was 400 years ago, before any other civilisations could even begin to comprehend those concepts.

Reminiscing in the glory of the old kingdom, staring at the remains of the war-torn castles, thinking how the world perceives Ethiopia to be this vast mass of poverty when there’s so much to learn.

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