The Obelisk of Axum: Ethopia’s Fascinating Ancient Architecture

Ethiopia has a rich history of kingdoms and peoples who have combined over the centuries and millennia to create one of the richest tapestries of human existence in this East African country.

While Ethiopia has transformed into a modern country like many others these days, there are still remnants of its ancient civilizations to this day. One primary example is the Obelisk of Axum, one of the most fascinating historical artifacts that can be seen on Earth.

Located in the city of Axum in the city’s northern Tigray Region, the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia in 2005 after spending nearly 70 years in Italy after the country took the obelisk to Rome during its colonial occupation of the country.

Now reassembled in its original site, visitors can marvel at a 79-feet-tall obelisk which was erected over 1,5000 years ago during the reign of the Kingdom of Aksum.

Built in the 4th century AD, this obelisk was originally meant to serve as a burial marker for the kings of this kingdom. Indeed, many burial chambers are located underneath where the tower stands, which made it one of the most important sites in this kingdom’s territory.

Carved with intricate patterns resembling windows and containing a semi-circular top, it’s amazing how well this structure has resisted thousands of years of the elements and two cross-continental trips to stand in absolute splendor as it does today.

The obelisk is a must-visit for history lovers taking a trip to Ethiopia. Be sure to check it out!