Of all the ancient monuments we consider the pyramids of Egypt as the supreme example for at least Africa if not the whole world. But if you dig a little deeper and search a little you will find another astonishing architectural marvel of the ancient world in Africa, it’s the ruins of the palaces and tombs of Aksum in Ethiopia. When you go to Aksum now you’ll find it a rather out of date place with dust flying around and without many basic facilities like proper electricity and sewerage system, it will be hard to believe that it was once the capital of the most powerful and advanced civilization of sub-saharan Africa.
The only major airport close by is of the capital, so you will be taking flights to Addis Ababa. Then you can take a bus or hire a car to the Aksum and what will amaze you most that the place is still live. If you have visit Giza pyramids in Egypt or other ancient sites then you know that the ancient sites are only a part of the past of the countries no matter how glorious it was. But Aksum has not lost its relevance to the daily life of ordinary Ethiopians who still flock the place for making the pilgrimage and believe that the ark of convent still resides in Aksum.
The best way to explore the area is by hiring a seasoned guide who will take you to the most worth visiting places of the ancient city. The star of all the sites is the Tomb of King Kaleb and Gabre Meskel who according to local traditions were father and son who ruled Ethiopia in the 6th century AD. The tomb is a beautiful example of the architecture of the ancient Aksuman civilization and as they are located on a small hill they are also a great place to get a bird eye view of the rest of the city.
Another site worth visiting is the Great Stele; lying down on the ground now this 33 m obelisk is the longest single stone carving that has been erected in the history of mankind. Some scholars believe that the obelisk was never actually erected and it fell during the erection process during the early 4th century. But still it must have been a great feat by the people of Aksum in carving such a huge obelisk from a single stone.
The place is so rich in historical sites that it will be impossible for you to visit all of them during a single day so to do justice with the place stay there for a couple of days. There are many hotels in the area which are not luxurious but provide decent quality service at a reasonable price.