On March 10, the world was hit by news that a passenger plane operated by Africa’s top national carrier had crashed. Today April 11 marks exactly a month, and a day since the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed in the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia’s Oromia region southeast of Addis Ababa and killing all 157 people aboard. The Ethiopian’s an industrious people are slowly recovering from the catastrophe alive with its culture and history; there is no place in Africa that can usurp Ethiopia’s position in Africa. Addis Ababa is the Capital city of Ethiopia, and it is the headquarters of the African Union. Addis Ababa also hosts the office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other international and continental organizations. The city was founded in 1886 by Menelik II who successfully fought the Italians at the battle of Adowa. This article lists some of the things to do in Addis Ababa, covering important cultural, religious, and historical sites.
1. Run in Meskel Square
No place culturally sums up Addis Ababa better than Meskel Square and it is located in the heart of the city. The squares is named after the Meskel festival that has been celebrated in the last 1600 years. The square is often the site for demonstrations, celebrations, and public gatherings. It is also the spiritual home of running in Ethiopia where members of the Ethiopian Olympic running team and other hopefuls meet for workouts at the amphitheater. Located near several historical sites and museums and at the intersection of two main roads through Addis Ababa, Meskel Square is indeed the heart of the Addis Ababa. A run in Meskel square can allow you to change your routine and workout for the day.
2. A Visit to the National Museum of Ethiopia
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National Museum of Ethiopia is located in the city of Addis Ababa near the Addis Ababa University’s graduate school. The museum comprises numerous valuable local archaeological finds such as the solidified relics of early humans with the most well-known being Lucy, a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. The museum offers historians an opportunity to understand the evolution of humans and appreciate Ethiopia as the cradle of humanity.
3. Historical Visit at the Mausoleum of Menelik II
Menelik II is a well known Emperor in Ethiopia as he is credited as the father of modern day Ethiopia. Menelik II presided over the campaign that repulsed the Italians at the Battle of Adowa making Ethiopia the second country after Liberia to remain autonomous. The mausoleum of Menelik II was erected in the 18th century, and it houses the tombs of Menelik II and a majority of Ethiopia’s royal families with their prized possessions. You can explore the Mausoleum of Menelik II and experience part of Ethiopia’s history. The Mausoleum is also an active church, and after a visit at the base chambers, you can join the locals in prayer upstairs.
4. Tiglachin Monument
Ethiopia has a long and bloodied history. The Tiglachin Monument is a memorial to Ethiopian and Cuban soldiers involved in the Ogaden war. The monument was inaugurated 12th September 1984 during Mengistu Haile Mariam’s regime.
5. Visit the Marriott Executive Hotel to Experience the Ethiopian Cuisine
The Marriott Executive Hotel is located in the heart of Addis Ababa just near Meskel Square. The hotel boasts some of the largest rooms in Addis Ababa. Each room has a separate bedroom seating area, and a kitchen outfitted with oven, microwave, refrigerator, and tea kettle. An exercise room helps the guests keep fit for a day of exploring the city. The hotel also offers authentic Ethiopian traditional cuisines, for example, the Ethiopian injera, and entertains its guest through diverse cultural dance and music. The service providers at the hotel are always attentive, and they serve with the hospitable Ethiopian smile.
Despite the recent accident that affected the Ethiopian Airlines, a tour of Addis Ababa’s most important religious, cultural, and historic sites will give you a glimpse into the Ethiopian history.