Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The New York Times: Aksum & Lalibela

Photo © Damon Winter-Courtesy The New York Times

Here's what I found to be a very well made (and thoroughly researched) feature by The New York Times titled Aksum And Lalibela: A Pilgrimage with the prose of Holland Cotter and the photography of Damon Winter.

"Lalibela was conceived as a paradise on earth."

Cotter tells us that he had longed to see two holy cities in Ethiopia: Aksum, the country's center of Orthodox Christianity, and Lalibela, a town of extraordinary churches carved from volcanic rock in the 13th century, for a long time and he did visit it recently.

The treat in this interactive feature are the panoramas of Gondar, the monasteries of Lake Tana and Lalibela. I was in Ethiopia in 2004, and these panoramic views brought it all back to me as nothing else could. I wasn't very impressed by Gondar then, but the majesty of Lalibela churches and the beauty of the reclusive monasteries of Lake Tana made my experience in Northern Ethiopia exceptionally memorable.

An exceptionally engaging article by Holland Cotter is here. He has been a staff art critic at The New York Times since 1998. Don't miss Damon Winters' dozen photographs of Lalibela, Aksum, and Gondar which accompany the articles.

And since I mentioned that I've been in that region some 8 years ago, drop by my own gallery Footsteps In Abyssinia. Oh, how I wish I had my multimedia knowledge and tools then!!!