In short

Debre Damo (6th century) monastery church is situated on an isolated mountain in the northern part of Tigray. The history of Debre Damo is focused on the ”nine saints”, who came to Ethiopia from Syria to spread Christianity in the Tigray region. One of them was Saint Aregawi, who settled on the mountain of Debre Damo. Debre Damo is magnificent in terms of its location and extensive collection of priceless manuscripts. It has become the prominent monastic and educational center for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church. Many books have been written there and distributed to churches throughout Ethiopia.

The monastery church is only accessible by climbing up a rope lowered from the cliffs. Visitors tie the rope around their waists, whereupon a monk on top of the cliff pulls them up. Women are not allowed in the monastery, and must remain under the cliffs and pray from there.