Fermuna/Yet Nebersh/ Forto
The site in question is known for different reasons by three different names given by different authorities at different times. The site has served various purposes over the years, located on a hilltop near Addi Abune, a small town outside Adwa. It was a place where the Jesuit missionaries had strengthened in the 17th century. Emperor Yohannes IV had chosen the site for his palace before becoming the King of Kings of Ethiopia. After long searching for a high ground to position his army, the king is reported to have pleasantly exclaimed, “Yet Nebersh!?” previously unaware of the existence of the strategically important location.” (Where were you!?). It was also made his command post by Emperor Menelik II in 1896. They chose the site as their trench when the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1937, hence Forto.
In the wake of Christovaõ da Gama’s military mission to rescue the country from Ahmed Gragn’s ravages in the 1540s, the Portuguese Jesuits had come to Ethiopia. From the 1560s, the priests were largely restricted to the area of Fremona because Roman Catholicism was not welcomed because it was in conflict with the Ethiopians ‘ miaphysite belief since Christianity was introduced in 330 AD. The fortress was first occupied by the missionaries, but was used by Emperor Yohannes IV as a temporary camp, and then by the Italians in the 1930s as a fortified position.