Rock-cut Shrine

Rock-cut Shrine
Cut into the hillside of Mai Qoho is a shrine attributed to Abune Libanos, one of the legendary Nine Saints who took refuge from persecution in Syria in the 5th Century. At the time, the king of Axum was Tazena, father of King Kaleb. Ethiopian religious literature, mostly hand-written in the ancient Ge’ez script, speak of the many miracles and gadlan (struggles) that characterised their mission of converting the general population to Christianity. There are several rock-cut churches dedicated to Abune Libanos in the Tigre region and further south at Lalibela.
Mekeyede Egzi (Steps of Christ)
On the flank of Mai Qoho is a flight of stairs formed in the natural rock that is the source of a legend in which Christ helped the jointly ruling Kings Ezana and Sazana to drain a swamp by causing dust to fall from heaven. The legend becomes confusing in that it speaks of the building of the stelae to placate the homeless swamp spirits, and that the gold that rained from heaven with the dust was used to build the first church in Axum, the original Tsion Maryam. However, archaeological evidence shows that the stelae predated the conversion of King Ezana.

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