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HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL CHURCH AND THE MUSEUM For this matter, the tombs and memorial monuments of these great men are seen here and there inside the compound. The church was constructed with the help of artists from India. Located close to the Imperial Palace, it was frequently visited by the royal family. Emperor Haile Selassie built a vault for his family in the crypt under the Cathedral, and the Imperial family continue to use it as their tomb. The tombs of Haile Selassie and EtegeMenen are found in the church. Their children and the families of the throne are also placed in the underground vault. In 1928, a cornerstone was laid by Empress Zewditu for a new cathedral to be built. Work progressed slowly and was halted during the Italian occupation of 1936 to 1941. The new Cathedral would not be completed until 1942, after the return of Emperor Haile Selassie from exile following the Italian occupation.

The Church in Brief: The gigantic and sumptuous Holy Trinity cathedral is Ethiopia's second-most important place of worship. It's also the burial place of the great Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife. Their huge granite tombs complete with lions' feet has much to do with the old Axumite construction styles. Such a place is, in fact, worth-seeing. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has reserved numerous movable and immovable historical relics. Amazing constructions carved out of single monstrous stones; monasteries and monuments; scriptures, potteries, various holy relics are the major wealth of this old-age church. Of these, some are registered as wonders of the world and most, though not recorded, have a great value in the history of the nation. The Trinity Cathedral is one part of these wonders. This cathedral has international recognition throughout its years of existence. Before this cathedral was established during the reign of Menelik in 1891 E.C another church previously known as ‘Mekana Selassie’ currently as ‘Be’ale Wold’ was built to the south-east direction of the cathedral. The old Church of the Holy Trinity remains a part of the cathedral complex and still functions as a church with the name Be’aleWold (Church of the Feast of God the Son) or Arbaetu-nsesat (Church of the Four Heavenly Creatures).The design of this church has a circle shape and its floor is of wood. Every walls of it are decorated with historical paintings .These all make it unique. This cathedral is found in Addis Ababa at Arat Kilo (Miazia 27) square to the east of the Ethiopian Parliament. It was established in 1982 E.C by the emperor Haile Selassie. After the construction was completed it was given as a memorial for the patriots who sacrificed their precious lives during the Italian Invasion.


The church was designed by an architect of supreme wisdom. Carefulness has protected the building from any inaccuracies instead of the wearisome work it has required during the construction period. The Church’s exterior walls have unusually complicated carvings, statues and designs that glorify the entire building. Visitors must look closer to the walls in order to comprehend these smart and gorgeous carvings. On the windows of the building both to the left and right direction are paintings that reflect the Old and New Testaments and religious and spiritual histories.

MENBERE-TSEBA’OT The cathedral bears the title 'Menbere-Tsebaot', or 'Pure Altar'. The church compound is the burial place for those who fought against the Italian Occupation, or those who accompanied the Emperor into exile from 1936 to 1941. Emperor Haile Selassie I and his consort Empress Menen Asfaw are buried in the north transept of the cathedral. Other members of the Imperial Family are buried in the crypt below the church. The High Altar of the cathedral is dedicated to 'Agaiste Alem Kidist Selassie' (Sovereigns of the World the Holy Trinity). The other two altars in the Holy of Holies on either side of the High Altar are dedicated to St. John the Baptist and to 'Kidane Meheret' (Our Lady Covenant of Mercy). In the south transept of the cathedral is a recently added chapel of St. Michael, which houses the Tabot or Ark of St. Michael the Archangel, which was returned to Ethiopia in February 2002 after being discovered in Edinburgh.

The Cathedral is of European style. Statues of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are on the church’s courtyard walls. Distinctive Ethiopian style paintings on the interior walls and on the stained glass windows give the church abundant glory. Trinity Cathedral commemorates Ethiopia's liberation from five years of Italian occupation. It is also the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia (after St. Mary's in Axum), and the highest ranking of Addis Ababa's four Orthodox cathedrals. Trinity Cathedral has been the site of many great church and state ceremonies, including the enthronements of the Patriarchs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the consecration of all Archbishops and Bishops. This Cathedral is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia, after the Church of our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum.


This relic was taken by British forces from the mountain citadel of Magdalla in 1868 during their campaign against Emperor Tewodros II. Other facilities include a primary and a secondary school, a monastery and the Holy Trinity Theological College, a museum and monuments housing the remains of those massacred in Addis Ababa by the Italians in 1937 in response to an assassination attempt against the Fascist Viceroy of Italian East Africa. In addition is the monument and tomb of the officials of the imperial government who were executed by the Communist Derg regime. Holy Trinity Cathedral is the official seat of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Addis Ababa. The Patriarchs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church are enthroned at Holy Trinity Cathedral and all Bishops are consecrated there as well.

The Museum The Museum was constructed and offered to the Cathedral by the honourable Kebede Tekalegn. On January 13, 2005 it was opened with the blessing of Abune Paulos the patriarch who is also honourable president of world religions for peace. Inside the museum are many precious objects of a living history. Many of them are presented to the museum by previous government authorities, popes, sister churches of foreign countries and some volunteer Christian individuals. Some of them are gold and bronze crowns; trophies, crosses, umbrellas, scriptures. Emperor Menelik and his wife Etege Menen’s thrones and many more amazing and breath-taking collections are all waiting for your visit.


HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL CHURCH AND THE MUSEUM